UD automation goes to next level
UD TRUCKS has revealed its first demonstration of level 4 automation for heavy-duty trucks at its headquarters at Ageo, Saitama in Japan.
The UD Experience Center course is said to emulate the realuse conditions of heavy-duty trucks in confined areas such as ports, factories, warehouses and construction sites.
The demonstration, held on December 12 last year, highlighted automation technologies including GPS, radar, Lidar, on-board camera and software which enable such high-precision automation for starting, stopping, slaloming, U-turns and reverse driving.
Level 4 automation is the last step towards fully automated transportation, where the driver can give the vehicle full autonomy over every aspect of driving.
UD says the heavy-duty Quon will help stabilise automated driving with the automatic manual transmission Escot VI and its proven steering system.
The automation technology ‘Fujin’ – named for the Japanese god of wind – is one of the two pillars of the UD Trucks’ Innovation Roadmap Fujin and Raijin Vision 2030, announced in April 2018.
“UD Trucks is proud to present the first demo of Level 4 automation for heavy-duty trucks. Today’s demo is a major step toward practical application of this technology by 2020,” UD Trucks senior vice president of technology Douglas Nakano says.
“Our heavy-duty truck Quon, launched in 2017, contains a sophisticated vehicle control system, which is the base of our highly precise automation technology.
“Based on the Quon, UD Trucks will continue to develop more advanced automation technology to address the needs of our customers everywhere and provide the trucks the world needs today.
“In doing so, we want to drive open discussion together with our business partners. We hope this public demonstration will be the opportunity to start that discussion.”
UD Trucks is currently participating in the Japanese government’s highway platooning projects and can tap into parent Volvo Group’s technical and IT knowledge.
“We have access to Volvo Group assets, so we will leverage this to improve customer experience, contribute to smart logistics and the development of society,” UD Trucks senior vice president of process and solutions Satish Rajkumar says.
UD Trucks says it will continue demonstrations of autonomous driving and electric drive prototypes, aiming with a view toward daily operation by 2020 and commercialisation of fully electric trucks and autonomous trucks by 2030.
“Level 4 automation is the last step towards fully automated transportation.”