Daimler Trucks is collaborating with Waymo on the development of an SAE level 4 autonomous version of its US Freightliner Cascadia model
The two companies have signed a strategic partnership deal to deploy autonomous SAE L4 technology in the industry with their initial efforts being set to combine Waymo’s automated driver technology with a unique version of Daimler’s Freightliner Cascadia, to enable autonomous driving.
Achieving level 4 autonomy is a key step in the progress towards fully driverless vehicles. At level 4, the vehicle control systems are able to intervene when problems are encountered or if there are system failures. This intervention capability is what distinguishes level 4 from level 3.
Waymo has over a decade of experience in building the “World’s Most Experienced Driver”, having driven over 20 million miles on public roads across 25 US cities and 15 billion miles in simulation. Daimler Trucks North America, Daimler Trucks’ US subsidiary, parent company of the Freightliner brand provides its experience in developing state-of-the art American Class 8 vehicles.
Both Waymo and Daimler Trucks share the common goal of improving road safety and efficiency for fleet customers. The autonomous Freightliner Cascadia truck, equipped with the Waymo Driver, will be available to customers in America in the coming years. Waymo and Daimler Trucks will investigate expansion to other markets and brands in the near future.
Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG says, “Daimler Trucks is a pioneer of automated trucking. In recent years, we have achieved significant progress on our global roadmap to bringing series-produced highly automated trucks to the road. With our strategic partnership with Waymo, we are taking another important step towards that goal. This partnership complements Daimler Trucks’ dual strategy approach, of working with two strong partners to deliver autonomous L4 solutions that are seamlessly integrated with our best-in class trucks, to our customers.”
Roger Nielsen, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America adds, “The combination of increased road freight volumes and the need and vision of fleet operators for highly automated trucks, is what fuels our pursuit of innovation. We are pushing engineering solutions that strive above all to increase safety and help our customers improve business efficiencies. Based on our collaboration with Waymo, we will be in the unique position of being able to provide our fleet customers with a choice for their individual requirements.”
John Krafcik, CEO, Waymo concludes, “We have the highest regard for Daimler’s engineering skills and broad global truck product portfolio, and so we look forward to scaling the Waymo Driver, together with our new partner, to improve road safety and logistics efficiency on the world’s roadways.”