Dennis Weaver once terrified a generation of normally moribund TV viewers when his Plymouth Valiant was randomly targeted for death by an anonymous tractor-trailer driver.
So you can imagine how your grand-folks are going to react when they hear that Daimler has designed, produced and brought to market the Freightliner Inspiration, the world’s first commercially-licensed autonomous truck.
That’s right – a semi without a driver, malevolent or otherwise.
Freightliner Trucks has been setting the standard when it comes to commercial vehicle design and technology, moving freight across North America for nearly 75 years. Whether it was the first all-aluminum cab introduced in 1942 or the industry-leading Freightliner Cascadia® Evolution on today’s roads, our inspiration comes from meeting the challenges faced by our customers.
This time, we were the first to license an autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States. Freightliner has a history of looking forward. In addition to the Freightliner Inspiration Truck, other concept vehicles include the Freightliner Cascadia Innovation Truck, the Revolution Innovation Truck and SuperTruck. They are our commitment to delivering the best trucks on the road today through the development of technology for the future. By looking ahead and developing innovative technologies, we can partner with our customers and introduce them to solutions that allow them to consider new ways to operate their business more efficiently. That’s leadership.
Seems to me that Weaver only got away from the first maniacal semi driver by tricking him into ramming his car (parked at the edge of a precipice), thereby sending the semi hurtling to its fiery doom.
Call me a cynic but I’m just not sure an autonomous truck will fall for that sort of Wile E. Coyote scheme.