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A Convoy of Three Autonomous Mercedes-Benz Trucks Drives from Germany to Holland

If the autonomous technology is highly contested in the passenger car segment, Daimler is leading the way as far as trucks are concerned.

The Stuttgart brand has already been testing the technology on German public roads for a few months, and has now taken things to a new level.

The three Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks aren`t just individually autonomous, but also connected. This allows them to travel much closer together, since they will all react at the same time in case of an emergency-brakes are deployed simultaneously and with the adequate force in order to prevent a chain crash. This style of driving in a close convoy is called platooning and is credit for a drop in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of 10 percent compared to regular conditions.

`With our autonomous and connected trucks, we are pleased to participate in the European Truck Platooning Challenge initiated by the Netherlands. I wish our drivers to have a good and successful trip on their way to Rotterdam. We consider platooning as a meaningful part of the integrated approach in which all stakeholders in road transport contribute to reduce fuel consumption and CO2`, said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses in Daimler`s Board of Management.

`Driving in a convoy is one of numerous examples to raise the performance of goods transport extensively with connected trucks. Today already 365 000 commercial vehicles of Daimler are connected. We are consequently pushing this development,` he continued. The Highway Pilot Connect is a more advanced version of the Highway Pilot, the world`s first and only system for automated driving of heavy trucks.

The three Actros trucks departed from the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, and are expected to reach the Dutch port of Rotterdam in two days, on April 6. The tour of the three Mercedes-Benz trucks leads from Stuttgart over Heilbronn {A81} on the highways A61 and A67 across the federal states Baden-Wurttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia towards Venlo for passing the border into Holland.

As we`ve said before, it`s very likely that heavy trucks will cut in front of passenger cars and become the first road-going vehicles to use autonomous and connected driving on a large scale. And if they do, you can bet that Mercedes-Benz will be the leading brand. Unless Tesla decides to do something about it.




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