Safer, More Efficient Commercial Trucks

On May 5, 2015, the first autonomous commercial vehicle to operate on an open public highway in the United States was unveiled to international media at Hoover Dam, outside of Las Vegas. The Freightliner Inspiration Truck showcases Freightliner Trucks’ commitment to delivering the best commercial trucks on the road today and for years to come.

For us, unveiling the Freightliner Inspiration Truck is about more than operating in autonomous mode, it’s about leading the evolution for cutting edge safety, efficiency and connectivity technology within the trucking industry.

Some of the key components in the Freightliner Inspiration Truck include:

Highway Pilot

Highway Pilot links together sophisticated camera and radar technology with systems providing lane stability, collision avoidance, speed control, braking, steering and an advanced dash display to allow for safe autonomous operation on public highways.

Inspiration truck technology

Radar and Camera Systems

The radar unit in the center area of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck front bumper scans the road ahead at long and short range. The long-range radar, with a range of 820 feet and scanning an 18-degree segment, looks far and narrow to see vehicles ahead. The short-range radar, with a range of 230 feet and scanning a 130-degree segment, looks wider to see vehicles that might cut in front of the truck.

The front radar unit is the basis for the Active Cruise Control and Active Brake Assist available in the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems on the series production Freightliner Cascadia® Evolution.

The area ahead is scanned by a stereo camera located behind the Freightliner Inspiration Truck windscreen. The range of the camera is 328 feet, and it scans an area of 45-degrees horizontal by 27-degrees vertical. The camera recognizes lane markings and communicates to the Highway Pilot steering gear for autonomous lane guidance.

Environment Perception Around Inspiration Truck

Radar schematic diagram
  • Full Range Radar18° | Range 820 ft
  • Front Stereo Camera45° | Range 328 ft
  • Short Range Radar130° | Range 230 ft

Adaptive Cruise Control Plus

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control PLUS (ACC+). ACC+ has the standard hardware and software used in series production vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz Actros; however, it has modified software specific to the AV driving application.

ACC+ combines the abilities of active cruise and distance control in combination with the ability of the vehicle to stop and go without driver intervention. Simply, the Freightliner Inspiration Truck can control distance and speed in a range of 0 mph up to the maximum vehicle speed.

Connectivity

An autonomous commercial truck is not a driverless truck. We think this point is very important and, since highly trained CDL drivers will remain in our trucks, we are inspired to also create the best possible experience for them. We not only want the driver in the truck, we want to be the driver’s partner in improving safety and fuel efficiency while they are on the road.

With a state-of-the-art dash interface, connectivity in the Freightliner Inspiration Truck is key to a great driver experience. It is large in size and is able to greatly improve the way data from the truck’s performance is communicated to the driver. Highway Pilot informs the driver visually on its current status and also accepts commands from the driver. Taking connectivity to another level, video displays inside the truck are capable of replacing exterior mirrors. Not only does this boost fuel efficiency by up to 1.5 percent, but the use of tiny cameras on the exterior of the truck greatly reduces blind spots. With the safety features of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck, drivers can optimize their time on the road by utilizing Detroit Connect to handle other important logistical tasks, from logging to routing. The technology contributes to improved safety and efficiency, while allowing for improved communication through connectivity and integration.

Highway Pilot Dash Interface

Highway Pilot screen 1

HWP Available

Highway Pilot screen 2

Takeover Countdown

Highway Pilot screen 3

HWP Active

Highway Pilot screen 2