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Daimler Trucks begins testing automated trucks on public roads

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Daimler trucks begins testing automated trucks on public roads
All automated runs in Daimler Trucks testing of Level 4 autonomous technology require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics and all safety drivers hold a commercial driver’s license and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS)

BLACKSBURG, Va./STUTTGART, Germany/PORTLAND, Ore. — Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics are actively developing and testing automated trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on public roads.

The initial routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Torc Robotics is headquartered. All automated runs require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics, according to Martin Daum, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, who is responsible for trucks and buses.

All safety drivers hold a commercial driver’s license and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems.

The deployment on public roads takes place after months of extensive testing and safety validation on a closed loop track. As part of the comprehensive safety process by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics, both test track and on-road validation play an integral role in establishing the essential building blocks for successfully advancing automated technology, Daum said.

“Torc Robotics is a leader in automated driving technology,” he said. “Daimler Trucks is the market leader in trucks and we understand the needs of the industry. Bringing Level 4 trucks to the public roads is a major step toward our goal to deliver reliable and safe trucks for the benefits of our customers, our economies and society.”

Based in the United States, Torc is now part of Daimler Trucks. Authorities approved the majority stake acquisition by the truck manufacturer. Torc Robotics is now a part of the newly established Autonomous Technology Group of Daimler Trucks. The truck manufacturer is consolidating all its expertise and activities in automated driving into the global organization with locations in Blacksburg and Portland in the U.S. as well as in Stuttgart, Germany.

“Being part of Daimler Trucks is the start of a new chapter for Torc,” said Michael Fleming, CEO of Torc Robotics. “Our whole team is thrilled to be working alongside our Daimler colleagues as we pursue the commercialization of Level 4 trucks to bring this technology to the market because we strongly believe it can save lives.”

Daum said Torc is one of the world’s most experienced companies in the field of automated driving with highly sophisticated, roadworthy technology and years of expertise with heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

“Asimov,” Torc’s system for automated driving, has been tested in urban and long-distance routes as well as in rain, snow, fog and varying light conditions.

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) will focus on further evolving automated driving technology and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks. The DTNA team is working on a truck chassis perfectly suited for highly automated driving, particularly the redundancy of systems needed to provide reliability and safety, according to Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of DTNA.

“As we pair Daimler’s expertise in building safe and reliable trucks with Torc’s genius in engineering Level 4 vehicles, we have no doubt we will do great things in the future. We look forward to writing history together,” Nielsen said. “The U.S. highways are the perfect place to develop automated driving technology.”

Within the Autonomous Technology Group, DTNA is also building an infrastructure required for the operational testing of initial application cases. This consists of a main control center and logistics hubs. These hubs are located along high density freight corridors where many customers operate and within close proximity of interstates and highways.

For more information on the partnership between Daimler and Torc Robotics, listen to the debut of Daimler Trucks’ “Transportation Matters” podcast featuring Martin Daum and Michael Fleming. Their in-depth discussion peels back the layers of the minds behind two influential leaders in this strategic partnership. Listen in to hear how their inspiration, passion and dedication sparked this journey, forwarding revolutionary technology that will be used to increase freight efficiency and reduce accidents on the highway.

The podcast episode with Michael Fleming can be found on the following channels:

Daimler Corporate Website: d.ai/daimlerhub-mf

Apple Podcasts: d.ai/apple-mf

Google Podcasts: d.ai/google-mf

Spotify: d.ai/spotify-mf

YouTube: d.ai/youtube-mf

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Donna Jones

    September 13, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Enough is Enough Drivers,,it’s time for y’all to pull together and fight for your rights if you don’t you will always be underpaid pushed around by Dot crazy Rules and Regulations treated like machinery like ELD tells you when to drive you have a limit to driving safe in early morning hours ELD don’t care if you wreck because you are sleepy, Stand up everyone if you don’t now you will regret in in 5 years or sooner just remember millions of jobs will end what will happen to theses people it will be sad, Take Control Now.

  2. Marcel Saiu

    September 13, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    true…these liars are not looking for better safety….they are looking to eradicate the human proffesional driving job all together for huge profits

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Transflo adds Surfsight video technology to its platform of freight solutions

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Transflo adds surfsight vehicle video technology to its platform of freight solutions
Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity. (Courtesy: Transflo)

TAMPA, Florida — Transflo, a mobile, telematics and business process automation provider to the transportation industry, has announced the AI-12 Dual Facing Dashcam solution as part of its Mobile+ ecosystem of digital and telematics solutions for truck fleets and drivers.

Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity.

Integrated with Transflo’s telematics platform, the cloud-connected Surfsight dashcam uses front-facing and cabin-facing cameras. The camera uses built-in artificial intelligence to detect hazards on the road, and infrared to recognize driver distractions in the vehicle. The driver is automatically alerted.

Surfsight streams from vehicles to secure cloud-based servers, providing fleet managers with continuous access to video. Managers can review video of groups or individual vehicles via a customized, secure, online dashboard using a web browser running on any type of device. Surfsight also provides access to on-demand video retrieval and review on the company’s cloud platform.

Surfsight dashcams cost just $200 and monthly subscriptions start at $25 per month as part of Transflo Bundle+, which extends the capabilities of the Transflo Mobile+ platform.

“Increasingly, video is an important tool for improving safety and operational visibility,” said Doug Schrier, vice president of product and innovation for Transflo. “The Transflo Bundle+ platform is the ideal way to incorporate vehicle video and telematics into your digital workflow.”

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U.S. trailer net orders closed 2019 down 51% from full-year 2018

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U.s. trailer net orders closed 2019 down 51% from full-year 2018
ACT Research reports that even though most of the major trailer categories showed month-over-month gains, the drop in dry can orders was enough to put the total industry results in the red.

COLUMBUS, Ind. – New U.S. trailer orders of 18,400 were down 13% month-over-month in December, and after accounting for cancellations, net orders of 17,700 dropped 11%. Longer-term comparisons show net orders down 35% year-over-year and 51% lower compared to full-year 2018, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders and factory shipments. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present.

“While seven of the ten major trailer categories posted month-over-month gains, the sequential 32% drop in dry van orders was significant enough to pull the total industry results into the red,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “Continued softness in both freight volumes and rates are generating financial headwinds for fleets, and as a result, their investment plans continue to be extremely cautious.”

Maly continued, “Fleets are aware that, as a result of weaker OEM orderboards, lead times are dramatically shorter than this time last year, so any orders placed now are likely to be delivered in a much more acceptable timeframe. It is also likely that pricing will be more advantageous.”

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Peterbilt delivers model 579EV to Werner for electric-powered truck pilot program

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Peterbilt has partnered with Werner Enterprises for their electric operations. The 579EV utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem. (Courtesy: Peterbilt)

DENTON, Texas ­— Werner Enterprises has selected the Peterbilt Model 579EV for their battery electric-powered truck pilot program.

“Werner Enterprises has long been regarded as an industry pioneer, and Peterbilt is honored to partner with them and have our 579EV lead their electric operations,” said PACCAR Vice President and Peterbilt General Manager, Jason Skoog. “Peterbilt is leading the charge in electric vehicle development, with three applications for zero-emissions performance.”

The 579EV delivered to Werner utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem with a total storage capacity of 352 kWh.  It is driven by a Meritor Blue-Horizon Mid-Ship Motor Drive Subsystem with up to 430 HP, features an estimated range of about 150 miles and a charging time as little as 1-hour when a fast-charging system is utilized.

Funding for the tractor was provided through the California Air Resource Board California Climate Investments (CCI) program, along with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“Werner is committed to finding alternative ways to keep our trucks environmentally-friendly while staying at the front edge of technology,” said Werner Enterprises President and Chief Executive Officer Derek Leathers. “Now, we’re excited about putting on some real-world miles with a dedicated customer in southern California over the next year.”

Pricing and option availability for 579EVs will be available on the Peterbilt’s SmartSpec sales tool in the second half of 2020.

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