After the massive Freightliner autonomous truck show at the Hoover Dam last month, rival truck builder Peterbilt have come up with their take on the subject. Studiously avoiding the word ‘autonomous’ this is called ‘Advanced Driver Assist System’, but essentially does exactly the same thing. The systems are different but achieve the same result, getting from A to B with less driver input and more hands free driving.
The Peterbilt system, shown off at a technology showcase at a raceway in Texas this week, does use a technology which looks to have legs. Lidar works on similar principles to radar but uses multiple laser beams to find objects in i front of the truck. The advantage of this system is the multiple beams mean the detector can gauge the shape of an object and react accordingly. The truck will know if it is approaching a car or an animal.
Peterbilt may well have been stimulated to make this announcement in the light of the Freightliner event last month. Making it public shows us Paccar is also up to speed with this new technology. Can we expect other competitors like Volvo and International to jump on board the bandwagon to show us they are also developing this technology? How many different acronyms can be developed to describe a self driving truck?
The trucks shown this year are still quite a way behind the Future Truck demonstrated last year by Mercedes Benz:
The Future Truck is itself a long way off this demonstration of a fully autonomous car on the roads of California: