AutoTruck: From the logistics center to the road
Orten Electric-Trucks, based in Bernkastel-Kues, will be converting an 18-ton Mercedes diesel truck into an all-electric vehicle. Götting KG in Lehrte fits the truck with safety laser scanners in the front and at the rear bumpers for immediate emergency braking to prevent collisions. In addition, the company is also developing a technology for precise positioning via GPS and map-matching to make it possible to compare the truck’s location with a digital map.
Autonomous driving requires a zone in which the vehicle is continuously connected to the controlling computer. “For the digital map to be sufficiently distinct, it must have well-known landmarks such as signs, lamps, or buildings’ corners”, explains Dr. Sebastian Wagner, team leader at the Fraunhofer IVI. WABCO Development, Hannover, is responsible for wireless communication between the vehicle and the infrastructure.
AutoTruck has enormous application potential
The exclusive deployment of autonomous trucks in depots only requires certification of the machines. However, the aim of the project is to ensure that all installations are structured in a way that AutoTruck can also be certified for use on public roads. The autonomous features will be deactivated when the truck is being driven on public roads and the driver takes control again.
“Most of the technologies we have developed can be transferred to public roads in the medium and long term,” explains Wagner as he outlines the development potential, “examples include control algorithms, obstacle detection, positioning, and even communication between truck and other infrastructure.”
Photo, illustration and video: Fraunhofer IVI