The Level 4 vehicle will be able to monitor, assess, and deploy its backup systems to control...

The Level 4 vehicle will be able to monitor, assess, and deploy its backup systems to control the truck safely.

Photo: Daimler Truck

Daimler Truck announced it is developing a scalable autonomous truck platform that is suited for SAE Level 4 autonomous driving, according to the company's press release.

This platform is also suited for redundancy systems needed to achieve reliable operations. The four key areas with a redundant architecture are the braking system, the steering system, the low voltage power net, and the network communications. The Level 4 vehicle will be able to monitor, assess, and deploy its backup systems to control the truck safely.

Daimler Truck’s L4 truck platform is based on Freightliner’s market-leading Cascadia. The redundant truck chassis is being developed for Waymo Via based on their specifications. A first version of the truck has already been delivered this year for integration of the Waymo Driver, the autonomous driving system. 

“Every smart autonomous driving system needs a strong foundation: our Level 4 vehicle platform based on the Freightliner Cascadia is ideal for integration of autonomous software, hardware and compute," said Dr. Peter Vaughan Schmidt, head of Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck. "It can significantly contribute to enhancing safety in traffic thanks to its redundancy of systems and a multitude of sensors. It brings us much closer to our vision of accident-free driving.”

More than 1500 new requirements have been identified by Waymo Via. The engineering team at Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) is developing and implementing these requirements during the vehicle development process. 

The steering system has been enhanced by having two servo motors. In case of an electronic or hydraulic failure, the backup servo motor also receives the requested steering angle from the autonomous driving system and can react accordingly.

Daimler Truck has included a secondary communication network to key devices, which is also protected by cyber security requirements. As for the demanding power consumption by all the ECUs and sensors in an autonomous truck, a low voltage power net is required. Exclusively developed at DTNA, the power net system ensures constant energy flow to critical systems.

In combination with a third party autonomous driving software, the redundant chassis offers customers full SAE Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities. As part of Daimler Truck’s dual track strategy, the truck manufacturer is working together with two autonomous technology partners, Waymo Via and Torc Robotics, offering multiple routes to commercialization.

Daimler Truck has the capability to tailor and scale the Level 4 truck chassis to the autonomous driving specifications of both technology partners.

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