Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and one of the biggest truck manufacturers in the world has announced a partnership with Alphabet Inc’s self-driving start-up, Waymo.
The partnership will allow Daimler to integrate Waymo’s self-driving system, called the Waymo Driver. The self-driving system is set to be integrated in the Freightliner Cascadia Class 8 semi-trailer truck.
It currently ranks at a Level 4 on the SAE scale of self-driving capabilities. A level 4 ranking means that the truck can function on its own but only within set conditions. Reaching a Level 5 ranking, where trucks will be completely self-driven and will be as capable as a human driver, is the ultimate goal.
Both the companies have mentioned that they plan on introducing the Waymo equipped Cascadia truck to customers in the US in the coming years and are currently exploring the possibility of offering it in other markets as well in the near future.
It’s worth mentioning here that Daimler has been working on their own self-driving systems for passenger and commercial vehicles and the German automaker has already conducted trials of the self-driving systems in 2019.
Statements made by the head of Daimler bus and truck division indicate that Daimler believes that the partnership will help accelerate the introduction of self-driving trucks and development operation for Daimlers own self-driving technology will continue on separately.
Apart from Daimler, a lot of other automakers have geared up for self-driving vehicles as well. But let’s not get our hopes up just yet.
Based on recent developments and massive challenges and complications that are posed by self-driving technology and vehicles it’s safe to say that the feature will be limited to simpler highway driving scenarios for years to come.
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