German carmaker Daimler is planning to test self-driving trucks as early as this year, Reuters reported, citing a German newspaper report.
“We are positive that we will get approval for tests on German motorways within the next weeks,” executive board member Wolfgang Bernhard told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. “Then we will start immediately.”
The tests will be held in Daimler’s home state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, according to Bernhard, who is in charge of Daimler’s trucks business. He said production will start in two to three years.
“We are leaders in this technology and will stand up for ourselves,” he said.
Bernhard acknowledged that Apple, Google and other companies were trying to position themselves in the promising business of autonomous driving.
He said that Daimler was unfazed by moves of companies like Apple to poach Daimler employees.
“That is a clear sign of recognition if Apple decides that your business — cars — are so important to them that they want to be part of it.”
Google earlier this month began testing its self-driving cars in Austin, Texas, expanding efforts to gather information on how the prototypes interact with traffic, road conditions and people, the news agency said.
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