NEWS: During a demonstration of an autopilot concept, Mercedes Benz says the new system will mean better jobs for truck drivers. Photo: car manufacturers spotted on test in the Alps. Today is the first day of the German summer truck driving ban.
GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: 20min queue early afternoon otherwise no delays today.
AUTOTRUCKS MEAN BETTER JOBS FOR DRIVERS SAYS MERCEDES
Highway Pilot frees drivers for other tasks
With 75% of all freight still expected to be transported by road in 2025, and volumes increased by 20% since 2008, the heavy haulage sector will boom over the next decade.
The long-standing shortage of skilled drivers and ever increasing pressure over safety and emissions will see autonomous driving play an increasing role. Happily, unlike in other industries, this new technology will not lead to wholesale job losses says Mercedes Benz.
The manufacturer demonstrated its new Highway Pilot in a ‘completely realistic’ scenario on the A14 near Magdeburg on Thursday. Using a modified Actros, dubbed ‘Future Truck 2025’, the German maker showed how the vehicle could respond to fast flowing traffic without intervention from the driver, even to the point of moving aside for an emergency vehicle.
However, FT2025 still retains a steering a wheel and needs the driver to start off, and enter the flow of traffic.
In a statement the company said, ‘The Highway Pilot system will significantly upgrade the job profile of truck drivers. It will not only free them from having to perform monotonous tasks it will also give them more time for tasks that were previously handled by office workers at shipping companies. In other words, it will be possible for truckers to advance to new positions as transport managers, making truck driving a more attractive profession. Autonomous driving could thus help to resolve the shortage of truck drivers.’
With appropriate legislation changes the company says the system could enter service by 2025.
roundup: GERMANY. For the first time, today – Saturday 5 July – is included in the summer truck ban. All vehicles 7.5t+ cannot use autobahns and some busy main roads from 07:00-20:00 on all Saturdays throughout July and August. Fine €150. Also see details of truck bans in AUSTRIA and ITALY.