The Freightliner new Cascadia: The Future is Now

by Kary Schaefer, General Manager, Product Marketing and Strategy1/8/2019
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If you keep an eye out for new trucks—anywhere on the highways of North America—you’re bound to have noticed the sharp, distinctive lines of the new Cascadia, launched by Freightliner in 2017, but there’s a lot more to this truck than a killer chassis design. It’s packed to the gills with engineering innovation—the hallmark of Daimler Trucks North America—and loaded with cutting-edge breakthroughs in safety, fuel efficiency and connectivity. Today, we’re thrilled to announce a series of model-year 2020 enhancements to the new Cascadia, making it even safer, more efficient and better connected. Some of these innovations have never been seen in a class-8, on-highway truck, and others are more subtle, but together their impact is palpable. Key 2020 model year updates include the following:

Safety: At DTNA, “safety-first” is no cliché. It’s a mantra built into our DNA, and the new 2020 Cascadia is loaded with enhancements that lessen opportunities for driver error, for a safer truck. Our exclusive, proprietary Active Brake Assist system detects stationary and moving objects and pedestrians, issuing warnings, applying partial braking and even full emergency braking, when necessary. Adaptive Cruise Control maintains safe following distances. These features combined increase safety substantially.

 Automation: We’re a long way from Level-5, fully automated, driverless trucks, but the 2020 new Cascadia will be the first truck on North American roads with Level-2 automation. This means an advanced driver assistance system assists in forward and lateral directions, with Side Guard Assist, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Protection, while an attentive driver remains at the wheel.

Efficiency: We never stop refining subtle but significant elements of aerodynamics, powertrain and system intelligence to achieve greater fuel-efficiency savings. The new 2020 Cascadia continues this tradition, improving on the 2007 Cascadia (its first iteration) by a stunning 35%.

Driver Assistance: Features like automatic wipers and headlights, intelligent high-beams, traffic signal displays and an optional new 12” digital instrument cluster (or 10” touch screen in the b-panel) provide drivers with improved graphics, trip information, vehicle diagnostics and operational parameters, for an improved driver experience.

Aerodynamics: The new 2020 Cascadia includes new covered tow-hook slots for reduced airflow entering the front of the truck and an A-pillar deflector for increased airflow smoothing. New Aero enhancements for the most efficiency conscious customers include an optimized front bumper, on-highway height control, optimized roof fairing deflectors, new front wheel-well closeouts and drive-wheel fairings, plus low-resistance, hyper-efficient Michelin X Line D+ tires, a new 2020 Cascadia exclusive.

Powertrain: Standard with the new 2020 Cascadia, the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission includes the highly efficient Intelligent Powertrain Management 6, our proprietary, predictive, adaptive cruise control, delivering engine load balancing and increased map coverage.

Connectivity: Our exclusive Detroit Connect platform links wirelessly through an in-cab device via Bluetooth. Improving that connection, enhancements like Detroit Connect Remote Updates (now with firmware over-the-air updates), Detroit Connect Analytics with new safety features and Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety features keep everyone updated. A better-connected truck is a smarter truck.

Kary Schaefer General Manager, Product Marketing and Strategy

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As vice president of sales for Freightliner, my job revolves around commercial trucks – all day, every day – as it has for years. Most of the time, as you might expect, it’s an office job. However, I recently had a great opportunity to put myself into the shoes of a long-haul truck driver. Over four days and three nights in a truck, I gained valuable, on-the-road insights that I never could’ve experienced in any office, and I made a new friend along the way.

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