Daimler Trucks, Waymo announce plans to create Level 4 autonomous Freightliner Cascadia

Daimler Waymo Level 4 Truck Concept
Daimler Trucks and Waymo plan to develop a Level 4 autonomous Freightliner Cascadia. (Courtesy: Daimler Trucks and Waymo)

STUTTGART, Germany, and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Daimler Trucks and Waymo have signed a broad, global, strategic partnership to deploy autonomous SAE Level 4 technology, the companies announced Oct. 27. Their initial effort will combine Waymo’s automated driver technology with a unique version of Daimler’s Freightliner Cascadia to enable autonomous driving.

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“In recent years, (Daimler Trucks has) achieved significant progress on our global roadmap to bringing series-produced highly automated trucks to the road,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management for Daimler Truck AG and member of the board of management of Daimler AG.

“With our strategic partnership with Waymo as the leader in autonomous driving, we are taking another important step towards that goal,” Daum said. “This partnership complements Daimler Trucks’ dual strategy approach, of working with two strong partners to deliver autonomous Level 4 solutions that are seamlessly integrated with our best-in-class trucks, to our customers.”

According to a statement released by the two companies, Daimler Trucks and Waymo share a common goal of improving road safety and efficiency for fleet customers. The autonomous Freightliner Cascadia truck, equipped with the Waymo Driver, will be available to customers in the U.S. in the coming years; the companies hope to expand to other markets and brands in the near future.

“We have the highest regard for Daimler’s engineering skills and broad global truck product portfolio, and so we look forward to scaling the Waymo Driver, together with our new partner, to improve road safety and logistics efficiency on the world’s roadways,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo.

By collaborating with Waymo, Daimler Trucks hopes to provide fleet customers with individualized automation solutions, according Roger Nielsen, member of the board of management of Daimler Truck AG and president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America.

“The combination of increased road freight volumes and the need and vision of fleet operators for highly automated trucks, is what fuels our relentless pursuit of innovation,” Nielsen said. “We are pushing engineering solutions that strive above all to increase safety and help our customers improve business efficiencies.”

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