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The Mercedes-Benz Pickup Truck Is Almost Here

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Ready or not, here it comes: Mercedes-Benz will reveal its pickup truck on October 25th.

The truck will be revealed in Sweden at 6:30 p.m. local time, in an event hosted by a who’s who of Daimler bigwigs: Daimler chairman and automobile division head Dieter “Dr. Z” Zetsche; Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-benz vans and previous AMG bossman; and Gorden Wagener, Daimler’s vice-president of design. Autocar claims having people there representing both the luxury and industrial branches of Mercedes’s business is a way of showing the truck’s intended purpose of bridging the gap between them.

The vehicle revealed on Tuesday will be a concept, but we already know a little about the production model that’s set to follow. The truck will a midsized mode, based on the same platform as the Nissan Navara—which, in previous generations, doubled as the Nissan Frontier. (“We are not going to build a fat cowboy truck for America,” Mornhinweg once told Britain’s CAR.) But as befits a Mercedes-Benz, the pickup will not share its engine or transmission with the humble Nissan, Autocar reports.

While it might seem a heresy on the scale of the first Porsche Cayenne to Beverly Hills SL-Class owners, a Mercedes-Benz truck would actually fit nicely into the company’s lineup. In more utilitarian forms, the Benz truck would be a handy complement to the likes of the Sprinter and Metris vans; bougie it up, and it would be a nice accoutrement for the likes of the GLE-Class, the G-Wagen, and the upcoming EQ electric sport-ute.

After all, high-end pickups are big business in America these days. Not only do trucks currently hold a larger chunk of the U.S. market than any time since 2007, the average truck price has leapt up 46 percent in that time, according to Edmunds. Across the automotive sector in general, by contrast, prices are up by just half that amount.

It remains to be seen whether the truck will be sold here in America. The U.S. market has generally favored larger pickups, but the recent arrival of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have helped to spur on a surge in the smaller market where the Benz will play. Toyota’s Tacoma continues to be immensely popular in certain markets, and Ford has already said it is returning the Ranger to the U.S.

Oddly enough, Mercedes-Benz already has a YouTube livestream rolling for the truck’s debut. So if you really have nothing better to do over the weekend, you can kick back and stare at the truck’s profile for the next four days.

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Ridy smart camera will alert drivers when drowsy or distracted

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The Ridy smart camera attaches easily to your dashboard or windshield. It then uses machine learning technology to watch your face as you drive and notice behavior suggesting that you may be tired or distracted. This might include things like how often you blink, facial expressions such as yawns, or how often you look away from the road. If a certain threshold is passed, Ridy will give you a verbal warning.



“Young drivers can benefit a lot from this device,” co-founder Yuri Galt told Digital Trends. “They often start texting or using Snapchat while driving. If you have a 16-18 years old kid and you buy him a car, get him a Ridy as well. Professional drivers such as Uber drivers can also benefit from this, [along with] busy parents that lack sleep, and any person who texts a lot while driving.”

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Ridy isn’t the only example of technology designed for this task that we’ve covered at Digital Trends. Last year, my colleague Dyllan Furness wrote about an intriguing wearable device intended to vibrate to wake up drivers in the event they start to doze off. Unfortunately, based on the Kickstarter comments it appears to have not shipped as promised.

Several car manufacturers, including Audi, Mercedes and Volvo, also offer driver drowsiness detection systems based on their vehicle’s movements. Judged on metrics such as the angle of the steering wheel and time driven, the cars can advise you when you might want to consider taking a break to recharge your mental batteries.

As ever, we’d advise that you’re aware of the potential risks associated with pledging crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you’re happy to go ahead then head over to the team’s Indiegogo page where they are aiming to raise $25,000. Ridy prices start at $89 with shipping set to begin in July.

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self-driving van involved in crash while driving in autonomous mode

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The Chandler police department issued the following statement, The Verge reports:

“We are currently investigating a minor injury collision involving two vehicles, one of which is a Waymo autonomous vehicle. This afternoon around noon a vehicle (Honda sedan) traveling eastbound on Chandler Blvd. had to swerve to avoid striking a vehicle traveling northbound on Los Feliz Dr. As the Honda swerved, the vehicle continued eastbound into the westbound lanes of Chandler Blvd. and struck the Waymo vehicle, which was traveling at a slow speed and in autonomous mode. There was an occupant in the Waymo vehicle sitting in the driver’s seat, who sustained minor injuries. Both the Waymo vehicle and the Honda were towed from the scene. This incident is still under investigation.”

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The Chandler police also said the Waymo van was not the “violator vehicle,” ABC 15 News reported.

Twitter user Matt Jaffee posted a photo of the accident scene at 3:40 p.m. PT. Jaffee tweeted: “Right now: Pretty gnarly crash with an @Waymo van in Chandler, AZ. No visible injuries.”



Chandler Police Department spokesman Seth Tyler said this collision is the first accident involving a Waymo vehicle in Chandler this year, according to ABC News 15.

There have now been two vehicle accidents involving autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix area. In March, an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

In November, Waymo announced it would test self-driving cars with no human backup driver behind the wheel, ABC 15 reported. A Waymo employee would be in the vehicle, but in the back seat. A Waymo human backup was in the driver’s seat in the May 4 accident.

Arizona gave Waymo transportation network company (TNC) status in January. TNC status means Waymo can charge riders for service. Riders can hail a Waymo autonomous van with the Waymo app.

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