Japanese motorists are now sharing the roads with self-driving trucks with a trial of self-driving trucks being undertaken on busy motorways around Tokyo.
The testing, which is focusing primarily on platooning applications, includes a truck from the Daimler-owned Japanese truck brand, Fuso, as well as heavy vehicles from other manufacturers.
During the tests, the heavy-duty Fuso truck is electronically connected to the other trucks in a semi-autonomous control mode to maintain a platoon.
The testing was initiated by the Japanese government.
The government believes truck platooning will contribute to the reduction of fuel consumption and to lower CO2 emissions, as well as helping with Japan’s dramatic driver shortage issue.
Daimler Trucks has completed thousands of kilometres of automated driving and platooning testing in recent years and Head of the Daimler Trucks & Buses Divisions, Martin Daum, says this puts the company at the forefront of the technology.
“Two years ago, we demonstrated with Mercedes-Benz trucks in Europe that platooning can be done and is highly advantageous.
“Right now, we keep developing the technology with Freightliner on public roads in the US. Japan is a key market for us that is on the lookout and promotes new technologies.
“We take part in the Japanese government’s initiative to push platooning further ahead in Asia and to remain in the lead in the development of this technology.”
Related: Fuso eCanter hits European roads
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