LAS VEGAS — Although much attention has been paid to autonomous vehicles being developed by Google and traditional car companies, one truck maker believes that automated tractor-trailers will be rolling along highways before self-driving cars are cruising around the suburbs.
On freeways, there are no intersections, no red lights and no pedestrians, making it a far less complex trip, said Wolfgang Bernhard, a management board member of Daimler AG, at an event in Las Vegas.
Daimler Trucks North America showed off a self-driving big rig on the road atop Hoover Dam on Tuesday night, although in this case it had a driver with his hands on the wheel the whole time.
But it will be years before an autonomous truck hits the highway for anything more than tests , the company says.
A computer-controlled truck never gets drowsy. And eventually a fully autonomous rig could cut expensive driver costs. Still, there probably will always be a human behind the wheel, more as a logistics manager and to take over in emergencies.