Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) believes there is more to self-driving vehicles than passenger cars like those being developed by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). The German automaker with its base in the U.S. is out to cause a major disruption in the autonomous vehicle market with semi-autonomous trucks. If Daimler gets away with its autonomous truck technology, the company could put in motion what could completely change the landscape of commercial trucking.
Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF)’s Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is leading the charge with self-driving trucks. DTNA has already received approval of authorities in Nevada to test its self-driving trucks dubbed Freightliner Inspiration Truck on public roads in the state, which it did in the past week. In further show of confidence in the technology behind the autonomous truck, DNTA took Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, for a rare joyride to let him see first-hand what Freightliner Inspiration Truck is promising to do. The ride was staged across Hoover Dam.
Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) cites that the global trucking market is expected to triple by 2050 and that growth is expected to come alongside some challenges, namely pollution, increase in traffic congestion and accidents.
Pitching for autonomous trucks
While pushing for autonomous trucks, Daimler notes that self-driving trucks will help with reduction or elimination of road crashes caused by driver errors. Additionally, the company noted that drivers will be more productive if they are not required to concentrate 100% on the road while behind the wheels. That essentially means that a driver can perform some other tasks that would usually require him to stop first to do.
In another positive case of self-driving trucks, Daimler’s head of Trucks and Buses, Wolfgang Bernhard, noted that self-driving trucks would go a long way to help lower the cost of goods.
The technology to facilitate driver-less trucks is there, but Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) is fully aware of the regulatory challenges that could greet efforts to bring such trucks to the road. According to the company, it could take more than 10 years before autonomous trucks could hit public road, but the delay would have much to do with regulatory issues than the technology itself.