Germany's Autobahn highway system is notorious for one thing: it has no mandated speed limit.
Last Friday, a huge Mercedes-Benz Actros freight truck came barreling down the Autobahn 8 along with other vehicles zipping between Denkendorf and Stuttgart. It would have been a perfectly ordinary journey had it not been for the fact that there was no actual driver controlling the truck's wheel. Nothing untoward happened: no accidents or traffic violations whatsoever, and this is because of the intelligent Highway Pilot system that run the vehicle.
See its journey in the video below.
The Pilot system, demonstrated on the notorious German highway, was developed by Daimler and is expected to be deployed in its future freight transport vehicles. During the test drive, Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, a top Daimler official, and Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of the state of Baden-Württemberg, sat in the front seat, piloting the world's first ever autonomous truck.
"Today's premiere is a further important step towards the market maturity of autonomously driving trucks - and towards the safe, sustainable road freight transport of the future," Dr. Bernhard said in press statement. "Safe testing in real traffic is absolutely decisive for the development of this technology to market maturity. We are now able to proceed with this."
The Pilot system features a network of radar and camera sensors that allow the vehicle to be intelligent and almost autonomous on the road, according to Popular Science. The technology was unveiled last May and has been tested in closed tracks in Germany and the U.S., International Business Times noted.