NZ Truck & Driver News

 
A step towards autonomous driving

A step towards autonomous driving

NZ Truck & Driver News

 February 2019   
Freightliner's New Cascadia, on sale in the United States mid-year, will feature Level 2 autonomous operation, including assisted steering, all-speeds adaptive cruise control and brake assist. 

The latest refinement in Daimler's Detroit Assurance 5.0 active safety and driver assistance systems is pedestrian recognition, incorporating emergency braking for pedestrians as well as active cruise down to 0km/h. 

The automated steering is like the system previewed by Mercedes-Benz at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Germany late last year. 

For North America, the Level 2 systems will be available in July as standard spec on the New Cascadia, via its Detroit Assurance 5.0.

The electronically-controlled steering automatically positions the truck in lane and will do so even when drivers lift their hands off the steering wheel. After 40 seconds though, the truck will sound an alarm if the driver's hands remain off the wheel. After a minute the system deactivates, so the driver absolutely has the take control of the truck again.

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Freightliner's New Cascadia, on sale in the United States mid-year, will feature Level 2 autonomous operation, including assisted steering, all-speeds adaptive cruise control and brake assist. 
The latest refinement in Daimler's Detroit Assurance 5.0 active safety and driver assistance systems is pedestrian recognition, incorporating emergency braking for pedestrians as well as active cruise down to 0km/h. 
The automated steering is like the system previewed by Mercedes-Benz at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Germany late last year. 
For North America, the Level 2 systems will be available in July as standard spec on the New Cascadia, via its Detroit Assurance 5.0.
The electronically-controlled steering automatically positions the truck in lane and will do so even when drivers lift their hands off the steering wheel. After 40 seconds though, the truck will sound an alarm if the driver's hands remain off the wheel. After a minute the system deactivates, so the driver absolutely has the take control of the truck again.
The enhanced Cascadia gets a new electronic dash, with a 13.3-inch digital screen in front of the steering wheel and a 10-inch touch panel on the wing dash. With these two control panels and other controls moved to the steering wheel there's a minimal number of switches on the dashboard.
The steering assistance system will centre the truck in its lane, but drivers can select a bias – nice for those who like to drive close to the right-side lane marker. If the truck starts to wander out of lane, the electronic-controlled steering gently brings it back. For overtaking or changing lanes, use of the indicators de-activates the lanekeeping system.
Daimler Trucks says that its expertise in automation is being leveraged with an investment of over $US500million – part of a global push to put highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on the road within a decade. 
The fusion of camera and radar technology in Detroit Assurance 5.0 detects moving pedestrians and cyclists in front of the truck and can deploy full braking in what Daimler claims is an industry first. It can also detect and mitigate a collision with full braking to avoid both moving and stationary vehicles and objects.
It happens in around three seconds – starting with an audible and visual alarm, then braking at 0.3 g for a second then a 1.0 g final stop if the driver does not respond. This is accompanied by the truck horn blaring and the four-way flashers illuminating. At the final stop, the brakes remain on until the driver touches the accelerator pedal to release them.
Another feature is Side Guard Assist, which detects objects (including pedestrians and cyclists), in the passenger-side blind spot for the tractor and a full-length 53-foot trailer – another industry first. It triggers audible and visual warnings – the latter on a small panel on the passenger-side A-pillar. 
"The enhancements we've made to Detroit Assurance have the potential to make an immediate, measurable and positive impact on overall North American road safety," says Kelly Gedert, director of product marketing for Freightliner and Detroit. 
"In fact, fleets with trucks equipped with forward collision mitigation systems can experience a 60% to 80% reduction in rear-end crashes."
Among the New Cascadia's aerodynamic enhancements is a unique feature which sees the front and rear air suspension on a tractor unit dropping its ride height by one inch at speeds over 55mph (88.5km/h) – returning to the regular ride height again when its speed drops below 45mph (72km/h).  


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