A senior executive from Daimler MENA CV says the first ever semi-autonomous heavy vehicle journey between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a statement that driverless technology is now available to fleets in the market.

The 140km trip was completed by a Mercedes-Benz’s new Actros truck proving that the future of goods transportation is closer with the state-of-the-art technology on-board, such as Active Drive Assist which lets the truck brake, accelerate and steer independently to prevent accidents.

Talking at the Truck & Fleet Conference in Dubai, Ognjen Jovanovic, body builder product manager, Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA, added that the so-called Level-2 of autonomy systems of the International Truck of the Year 2020 Actros introduces autonomy into the market.

He also explained that the Actros was now nearing 1,000km of testing in the UAE.

“I would say that for us at Daimler, this is one trend that is never going to stop,” said Jovanovic. “The Mercedes Benz Actros is a level two autonomous truck and has covered close to 1,000 kilometres here in Dubai, driven autonomously under level 2. This is not the future, this is the reality.”

He continued: “We’re probably proud to say that in the truck industry, we are the original disruptors at Mercedes-Benz going back almost 125 years. The innovation or the disruption didn’t come from Silicon Valley at the time.

“We are into an era where we are focussing not on the electronics, we are focussing on the software, on the artificial intelligence, because we want to be on the forefront of technology. We want to lead this transportation segment into the future.”