MUNICH (dpa-AFX) - At the beginning of April, truck manufacturer MAN received approval to test driverless trucks on the highway. Now Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and MAN CEO Alexander Vlaskamp want to take a ride in an autonomously driving test vehicle on the A9 highway near Munich on Thursday (2:30 p.m.).

The company, which is part of the Volkswagen holding company Traton, wants to be able to build self-driving trucks in series production by the end of the decade. They are intended to save time and labor costs and counteract the shortage of drivers. The German Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal Association (BGL) views the technology with skepticism.

In addition to MAN, several supplier companies, universities, a Fraunhofer Institute and Tüv Süd are involved in the Atlas-L4 research and development project for self-driving trucks. It should deliver results on autonomous truck traffic on highways by the end of the year. However, the computer-controlled trucks must be monitored by a control center and be able to be steered and braked from there if necessary. MAN competitor Daimler has already been testing autonomous trucks on US highways for some time and plans to launch them on the market there as early as 2027./rol/DP/nas