Daimler Truck Reveals Autonomous Version of Electric Freightliner eCascadia

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Daimler Trucks

Daimler Truck is pursuing a vision of zero emissions and road safety by combining two technologies to deliver on that vision — battery electric drive and integrated autonomous driving technology — in one semi-truck: the autonomous Freightliner eCascadia technology demonstrator.

The truck is based on a production battery electric Freightliner eCascadia and is equipped with Torc's autonomous driving software and the latest Level 4 sensor and compute technology.

This will eventually enable Level 4 autonomous driving. Torc Robotics is Daimler Truck’s independent subsidiary for autonomous virtual driver technology. While still a research and advanced engineering project, the autonomous vehicle has the potential to evolve into a modular, scalable platform that is propulsion agnostic for flexible use in different trucking applications. The goal is to offer customers a choice of the right vehicles for their specific business and transportation needs.

“By combining zero-emission and autonomous technologies in one product, we are testing solutions for challenges our customers are likely to face in the future,” said John O'Leary, president and CEO of Daimler Truck North America. “We want to give them choices that allow them to do what they do best: keep the world moving today and well into the future. That takes a lot of foresight, questioning, testing, learning, improving and co-creating with our customers years in advance to ultimately find the right solution. This truck is a great example of the beginning of that development process.”

Modified Freightliner eCascadia

The battery electric Freightliner eCascadia, a vehicle base for the autonomous eCascadia technology demonstrator, went into production in 2022 and has now reached 6 million real-world miles in more than 55 fleets in the United States. The battery can be recharged to 80 percent capacity in as little as 90 minutes. Several battery and drive axle options are available, providing a typical range of 155, 220 or 230 miles, depending on the specific configuration. The Freightliner eCascadia is equipped with the proprietary Detroit ePowertrain, which delivers performance and reliability. For added safety on the road, the eCascadia also comes standard with the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems, including Active Brake Assist 5.

For the first time, the autonomous sensor suite and compute power, currently being tested on the autonomous diesel Cascadia, is packaged to fit the smaller day cab configuration of the battery electric eCascadia. For cooling, Daimler Truck North America’s engineering team developed a prototype air-cooling concept for the compute stack, which is positioned between the driver and passenger seats. Customized software provides the autonomous system with control interfaces and feedback on vehicle status.

The in-house designed sensor bar cover, which incorporates cameras, lidar sensors and radar sensors, supports aerodynamic performance while providing protection from damage and soiling. Four additional 12-volt batteries provide enough high voltage power for uninterrupted operation.

Looking Ahead and Applications

The autonomous eCascadia demonstrator provides a glimpse of future autonomous use cases, including shorter, repeatable routes with the use of zero-emissions infrastructure. Depending on the application, future autonomous trucks could also be powered by hydrogen-based propulsion technologies.

In the currently tested hub-to-hub application, the truck’s intent is to drive autonomously between freight centers along U.S. highway corridors. By identifying synergies between zero emissions and autonomous infrastructure in a future scenario, the charging infrastructure and autonomous freight hubs could be combined to charge and load simultaneously.

The autonomous eCascadia technology demonstrator is designed with many commonalities with the production eCascadia, leveraging synergies in the development process.


Daimler Truck has been developing and testing autonomous truck technology since 2015 with the reveal of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck as the first licensed SAE Level 2 autonomous commercial truck to operate on open public highways in the U.S.

The company aims to enter the market with production SAE Level 4 autonomous trucks in the U.S. by 2027. Daimler Truck’s technology partner Torc has been testing autonomous-ready Freightliner Cascadia trucks in real-world applications with selected logistics companies such as Schneider and C.R. England, successfully moving customer freight autonomously on its test route between Phoenix and Oklahoma City, over the past year.

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