June 2015

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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26 commercial carrier journal | june 2015 I took a drive into the future last month, and it was pretty uneventful. I mean that in the most positive sense possible. Last month, Freightliner showcased to industry press the $80 million SuperTruck it previewed at the Mid-America Truck- ing Show in March. I was able to take a short circuit behind the wheel of this futuristic truck, skirting the perimeter of a wind- swept Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Between the high-tech trucks on the road and the U.S. Air Force fighter bombers roaring overhead, it was a pretty dramatic scene. But fun and educational. Finding Inspiration Before I got the chance to climb behind the SuperTruck's wheel, I had the opportunity to ride shotgun in Freightliner's new Inspiration truck, which was unveiled during a dramatic rollout at historic Hoover Dam. The Inspiration is, as you might have heard by now, the first fully licensed road-legal autonomous truck in North America. But in the cab, the vibe was more familiar than futuristic. Aside from some high-tech instrumentation and information centers, the comfortable truck feels similar to any luxury-spec'd Cascadia on the road today. I wasn't able to take the wheel because the state of Nevada requires an autonomous vehicle CDL endorsement. But the ride was enlightening just the same. My driver, Freightliner technical engineer Jim Martin, demon- strated the autonomous drive function on a stretch of Interstate 15 DrIvIng Into the future Freightliner's futuristic tractors spearhead trucking's evolution By Jack RoBeRts T E S T D R I V E : 2 0 1 5 F R E I g h T l I n E R S u p E R T R u c k Last month in Las Vegas, Freightliner showcased to industry press the $80 million SuperTruck it previewed at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March. Freightliner likes to say the SuperTruck is more of an evolution than a revolution, and CCJ Executive Editor Jack Roberts said his test drive reflected that sentiment.

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