Daimler Truck’s Freightliner eCascadia to go autonomous

  • Daimler Truck’s Freightliner eCascadia integrates battery-electric power and autonomous driving for SAE Level 4 automation, promising safer and more efficient transport.
  • The vision includes integrating charging infrastructure and logistics for seamless operations, enhancing efficiency and sustainability.
  • Daimler aims to launch autonomous trucks in the US by 2027, offering a flexible platform adaptable to diverse transport needs.

Freightliner eCascadia: Daimler’s Vision for Autonomous Electric Trucks by 2027

Daimler Truck is taking sustainable freight transport to the next level by combining battery-electric power and autonomous driving in one platform: the self-driving Freightliner eCascadia.

The autonomous Freightliner eCascadia is built on the North American electric model and uses Daimler’s Torc Robotics software, with advanced sensors and computers. It aims for SAE Level 4 automation, allowing it to drive entirely on its own under certain conditions, like specific routes, highways, or parking lots. This means it can stop safely without human help and even drive without anyone inside.

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In the current hub-to-hub approach, the autonomous Freightliner eCascadia travels between freight centres along major US motorways. Looking ahead, there’s a vision where charging infrastructure and autonomous logistics centres are integrated. This would allow electric charging and loading to happen simultaneously, boosting efficiency for transport companies.

Joanna Buttler, Head of Global Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck said;

“Together with Torc Robotics, we are making significant progress towards the planned introduction of autonomous trucks in the US in 2027. While we are focusing on autonomous trucks with conventional drive technology for this initial market launch, we are always looking further into the future. We will take an iterative approach to developing, testing and optimising autonomous and zero-emission driving technologies, working with our fleet customers to explore the most promising use cases.”

The Freightliner eCascadia’s battery can charge to 80% capacity in just 90 minutes, providing flexibility for long-haul operations. Depending on its battery and drive axle configuration, the eCascadia has a range of 155, 220, or 230 miles (roughly 249, 354, or 370 kilometres). It features the Detroit ePowertrain, designed by Daimler, offering strong performance and efficiency. Safety is a priority, with advanced driving assistants like Active Brake Assist included as standard features.

Daimler Truck is targeting 2027 to launch autonomous trucks in the US market. With its technology carrier, the company aims to develop a modular and scalable platform, adaptable to various truck applications regardless of drive technology. This strategy sets the stage for offering customers a broader range of autonomous vehicles to meet diverse transport needs, marking a significant step toward a future where autonomous trucks become a flexible and integral part of logistics and freight transport.

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