DUSSELDORF, Germany — Daimler Trucks demonstrated a three-truck platoon on the Autobahn here March 21 as part of an event to spotlight the growing importance of connectivity.
During the demonstration, as cars cut in between the trucks, the trucks automatically altered their distances until the path was clear again. Likewise, as they approached a highway junction, they also automatically adjusted to expand their following distances to ensure safety.
The trucks feature “Highway Pilot Connect,” which Daimler officials said is a more advanced version of the Highway Pilot system used in the autonomous-driving Future Truck shown in Germany in 2014, and Freightliner Inspiration truck last year in Nevada.
Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler's truck and bus division, laid out an ambitious vision of what connectivity will mean in the near future.
PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes from Dusseldorf
"This truck will always be driving, it will always be fully loaded, never be stuck in a traffic jam, it will never fail — and it will be piloted by a happy driver," he said. "There will be no paperwork, no accidents, no breakdowns. OK — I am well aware that we might never completely get there — but it’s the direction we’re taking."
Daimler said the platoons can lower fuel consumption 7%, lower emissions and use far less highway space than non-platooning trucks.
Watch the container below for social media updates from the event; check back later for additional story content.