Barrelling down a motorway south of Stockholm in a 40-ton lorry and trailer, the driving force retains a cautious eye on the highway however, jarringly, no fingers on the wheel.
As a substitute, the truck drives itself, and veteran driver Roger Nordqvist is on the prepared solely in case of surprising issues.
Swedish truck maker Scania is just not the one auto producer creating autonomous vehicles, but it surely not too long ago grew to become the primary in Europe to pilot them whereas delivering business items.
“We take their goods from point A, drive them to point B, fully autonomously,” Peter Hafmar, head of autonomous options at Scania, tells AFP outdoors the corporate’s transport lab in Sodertalje, south of Stockholm.
Within the pilot project, the self-driving truck is maneuvering a stretch of some 300 kilometers (186 miles) between Sodertalje and Jonkoping in Sweden’s south, delivering fast-food items.
From the skin, the car seems to be virtually like every other lorry, save for a rail on the roof filled with cameras and two sensors resembling bug antennae on the perimeters.
Contained in the cab, the wheel and seats are the place you’d anticipate finding them, however small gadgets and screens dot the dashboard and a nest of wires run to the pc rack housed behind the passenger seat.
‘Drives higher by itself’
Engineer Goran Fjallid sits subsequent to the security driver within the passenger’s seat, eyes glued to his laptop computer because it receives video from the truck’s cameras and flickering textual content with details about what the car is seeing.
A second display screen exhibits a 3D-visualization of the truck on the highway and all close by automobiles.
The lorry combines all of the enter from the assorted sensors with a GPS system, with the completely different applied sciences appearing as back-ups for one another.
“If the road markings disappear for a while, then it will use the GPS and it stays perfectly in its lane,” Fjallid explains.
“It drives better by itself than when you drive it manually,” he provides.
However he acknowledges that a number of trial and error has gone into getting the truck to that time.
They’ve needed to tweak issues like how the truck handles merging onto the motorway, and what to do when one other automotive cuts in entrance of it.
Each time the truck does one thing surprising, corresponding to braking or slowing down for no obvious purpose, Fjallid makes a observe of the precise timing so the logs and knowledge could be examined.
The lorry’s sensors are additionally calibrated day by day earlier than hitting the highway.
Hafmar says there are nonetheless some hurdles to clear earlier than driverless vehicles—with out security drivers—develop into a standard sight on roads, each by way of know-how and laws.
They count on to have this prepared by the top of the 2020s or the start of 2030s, Hafmar says.
No extra truck drivers?
The arrival of self-driving vehicles could be seen as a risk to the roles of truck drivers—one of many world’s commonest professions.
However Hafmar insists autonomous automobiles are wanted to handle a world driver scarcity.
And, he says, will probably be a very long time earlier than artificial intelligence will be capable of deal with all features of logistics.
Initially, self-driving lorries will probably be used for long-haul journeys, however the last-mile distribution to retailers and clients “will happen with human drivers”, Hafmar provides.
In accordance with a report from the Worldwide Highway Transport Union (IRU) in June, there have been some 2.6 million unfilled positions for truck drivers all over the world in 2021.
Hafmar additionally factors out different potential benefits: since computer systems need not sleep or relaxation, the automobiles could be scheduled for journeys at instances when there may be much less visitors, or drive slower—however for longer—to avoid wasting on gas.
A bunch of different corporations are additionally within the race to launch self-driving vehicles.
Begin-ups Aurora, Waymo, Embark, Kodiak and Torc (along with Daimler) are working checks in the US, whereas China’s Baidu introduced a self-driving truck in late 2021.
In Europe, IVECO is working with Californian start-up Plus, supported by Amazon, and not too long ago introduced the top of their first section of circuit testing. They may also launch highway checks.
Swedish firm Einride additionally plans to launch road checks in Germany quickly.
© 2022 AFP
Self-driving lorries hit the highway in Sweden (2022, November 30)
retrieved 30 November 2022
This doc is topic to copyright. Aside from any honest dealing for the aim of personal examine or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is offered for info functions solely.
Click Here To Join Our Telegram Channel
You probably have any considerations or complaints concerning this text, please tell us and the article might be eliminated quickly.