Global Media Goes Bonkers Over Semi-Autonomous Cascadia, Wins Prestigious Tech Award
Las Vegas, Nevada – Media members from around the world were captivated this week as Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) introduced the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America during a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
To the delight and amazement of many in attendance, the truck maker announced their latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia® includes integration of Level 2 automation technology. Level 2 automation means the truck is capable of both lateral (steering) and longitudinal (acceleration/deceleration) control.
Journalists from more than 25 countries were able to experience the truck’s SAE Level 2 driving capabilities first-hand at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Monday. The opportunity to see the truck’s advanced technology sparked a flood of fawning press stories from U.S. and global tech media outlets, as well as U.S. and European trucking media organizations.
Shortly after the new Cascadia’s introduction, Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses, raised the intrigue level to a fever pitch. He announced that Daimler Trucks will put highly automated, SAE level 4 trucks (fully autonomous) on American roads within a decade.
“Highly automated trucks will improve safety, boost the performance of logistics and offer a great value proposition to our customers – and thus contribute considerably to a sustainable future of transportation,” said Daum.
In support of this push to thrust fully autonomous trucks on to U.S. roads, Daum also announced the company would hire nearly 200 mechatronics and robotics experts at their Automated Truck R&D Center in Portland, Oregon.
Cascadia Awarded Prestigious CES “Best Transportation Technology” Honor
Capping off the successful roll-out of the Freightliner new Cascadia® was its being awarded the prestigious honor of “Best Transportation Technology” at the engadget annual ”Best of CES” awards ceremony.
The Best of Transportation Technology award was accepted on Thursday evening by Michael McHorse, director of channel marketing for Freightliner and Detroit, at the awards ceremony held on the engadget stage at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Transportation Technology category is awarded to the best technology related to the “ever-advancing science of getting from here to there,” according to the engadget. “With the new Cascadia, we aim to significantly reduce both accidents and fuel consumption with advancements in automation, helping the truck drivers do their job with more safety and with less fuel,” said Roger Nielsen, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America.
“We are facing more trucks on the road with increased hauling demands, regulatory pressures and ongoing global concerns over energy resource depletion. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to innovate and push our engineering solutions striving, above all, for safety and helping our customers to run their business efficiently,” Nielsen said.
How SAE Level 2 Automation Works
DTNA says the Detroit Assurance® 5.0 enables SAE Level 2 driving in the new Cascadia. According to the truck maker, a suite of camera- and radar-based safety systems assists the driver by accelerating, decelerating, and steering independently.
Further, The Detroit Assurance 5.0 Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Lane Assist features make automated driving possible in all speed ranges for the first time in a series production truck.