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New Self-Driving Truck Could Make Roads Safer

May 12, 2015

Driving alongside a semi-truck on the highway can be a scary task. In 2012, 330,000 semi-truck accidents were recorded in the United States, killing nearly 4,000 people, most of who were in passenger cars. Nearly 90 percent of those crashes were a result of driver error.

Luckily, motorists soon may be able to worry a little less about their safety while sharing the road with large trucks. The Freightliner Inspiration is the newest development in self-driving cars set to make long-haul transportation safer, more affordable and better for the environment.

Daimler’s newest development in freight transportation is an improved freightliner offering the newest advances in safety. For the last several years, the largest freight carriers in the country have been stepping up the active safety features in their vehicles through lane control and automatic braking.

The new 18-wheeler takes those features a step further and offers limited autonomy by taking control of the vehicle on highways, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and staying in its lane.

If confronted by extreme weather like heavy snow, it will alert the driver to take over with noises and images on the dashboard. If there is no reaction from the driver within five seconds, the truck will gradually slow down and eventually come to a complete stop.

The basic build of the truck is not much different from other vehicles Daimler sells: cameras help read lane lines, long and short radars scan the road ahead, there’s no vehicle-to-vehicle communication and no sensors that face backward as they are not needed.

Though the Freightliner is still only a prototype requiring millions more in test miles, Daimler is confident this is an important step for increasing safety on the roads and preventing truck accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck crash, contact our experienced team of lawyers to discuss your legal rights.

Categories: Auto Accidents

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