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September 10, 2014 10:30 AM, EDT

Peterbilt Demonstrates Autonomous Driving Technologies

Peterbilt Motors Co.

Peterbilt Motors Co. said it demonstrated autonomous driving technologies in Detroit on its Model 579 concept truck.

The truck uses existing technology such as radar-based adaptive cruise control to automatically speed up and slow down as well as lane departure warning systems that use cameras to detect lane edges and alerts the driver if the vehicle drifts.

“The autonomous truck of the future is an extension of existing, individual systems already available for today’s commercial vehicles,” Bill Kahn, Peterbilt principal engineer and manager of advanced concepts, said in a statement.

“Heavy-duty trucks are an ideal platform for automated operation because, compared to motorists, commercial vehicles travel a majority of their miles on modern highways, at constant speeds and for extended periods of time,” Kahn said.

To boost the performance of the existing technology, the lane departure warning system was given the ability to self-correct the truck by integrating it with the electronically controlled steering system, according to Peterbilt.

“Combined, these technologies — while still evolving — increase safety through continuous situational awareness, reduced driver fatigue and improved driving accuracy for superior fuel economy,” Kahn said. 

Peterbilt demonstrated the concept truck during the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s World Congress in Detroit, held in the United States every three years.