The driverless car revolution has taken a significant step forward on the road to acceptance with the introduction of a self-driving semitruck on German autobahns.
The Mercedes-Benz Actros comes complete with a ‘Highway Autopilot’ system which enables the driver, who must remain present, to take a back seat to much of the mechanics of driving.
Activated as soon as the vehicle enters a motorway the software springs into life with a ‘Highway Autopilot On’ message which the driver can accept with a push of a button.
Equipped with front mounted radar and stereo cameras the vehicle is entirely self-sufficient, negating the need for an active internet connection to maintain control, by actively tracking lane markings and other roadside hazards.
Upon reaching the desired exit the system notifies the driver allowing a resumption of manual control on slower roads.
Subject to the necessary legislation such sytstems are expected to become widely available in a matter of years.