The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 is a smooth swath of silver concealing soft LEDs. Oh yeah, it can also navigate crowded highways at speed while the driver takes a nap.
Design elegance continues to the interior, which kind of looks like a night club Salvador Dali might have designed if he had access to IKEA and a time machine to the 70's.
Daimler has not built the truck for today's market, but its using it to illustrate how they see the future of ground transportation. Using a series of cameras dialed in to the company's Highway Pilot software, the truck can drive itself in traffic and even handle random issues like passing emergency vehicles.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, a member of Daimler's board, laments that testing the truck's autonomous capabilities is illegal in Europe but is encouraged that a few US states are already allowing self-driving vehicles on roads.
"Wherever we're going to have the legal environment that we need, we're going to use this technology," he says.
The technology's here, and it sure looks like it works. Mercedes admits a driver is "still needed" to manage the truck's many systems, fill it up with diesel, and spill chip crumbs on the seats, but if they can make this transition cost-effective I'd think commercial fleet operations will be all over it.