LAS VEGAS. Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) officially presented its new autonomous truck, the Freightliner Inspiration, to the world tonight, underscoring the vehicle and the company’s link to America’s indomitable “can-do” spirit with a can’t-top-this event at Hoover Dam. Sixty projectors turned the dam into the world’s largest projection screen, debuting the story of the Inspiration on the 726.4-foot high dam as several hundred international news media, trucking industry analysts and officials looked on and a helicopter hovered overhead streaming the program live.
“Tonight is all about inspiration,” said Martin Daum, DTNA president and CEO. “The Hoover Dam symbolizes America’s can-do spirit as little else can… [At DTNA] we are inspired by meeting the challenges faced by our customers. Inspiration drives technology leadership and, ultimately, customer value. Our customers are our inspiration.”
“This is a night that will inspire America and the whole world,” added Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Daimler Trucks and Buses. “The Hoover Dam provides the ideal setting for a debut as significant to the trucking industry as this…
“To show the significance and opportunities of autonomous driving functions for the global trucking industry we were willing to go ways that people did not dare to think about before,” he noted. “Developed by engineers at DTNA, it promises to unlock autonomous vehicle advancements that reduce accidents, improve fuel consumption, cut highway congestion and safeguard the environment.”
Dr. Bernhard congratulated Daum’s team on their achievement as the actual truck came into view, spotlighted as it drove through the tight turns approaching the bridge across the dam. “Putting the Freightliner Inspiration Truck on the road is an historic day for Daimler Trucks and the North American trucking industry,” Dr. Bernhard said. “Our team has done a marvelous job in bringing this breakthrough technology to the road.”
The Freightliner Inspiration Truck is equipped with the Highway Pilot sensors and computer hardware is based upon a series production Freightliner Cascadia Evolution, fully certified to meet all U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The Highway Pilot links together a sophisticated set of camera technology and radar systems with lane stability, collision avoidance, speed control, braking, steering and other monitoring systems. This combination creates a Level 3 autonomous vehicle operating system that can perform safely under a range of highway driving conditions, DTNA noted. In total, two trucks with this equipment exist.
Trucking industry analysts and international media will be given the chance to ride in the two trucks on public roads near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday, May 6 as the vehicle operates in autonomous mode.