UD au­to­ma­tion goes to next level

Owner Driver - - Tech Briefs -

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.”

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