MAN aFAS receives the first Truck Innovation Award at the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 20, 2018

MAN Truck & Bus CEO Joachim Drees (right) receives the Truck Innovation Award at IAA Commercial Vehicles from jury president Gianenrico Griffini.

MAN Truck & Bus has won the first Truck Innovation Award for 2019 with its ‘aFAS – Driverless Safety Vehicle on Motorways‘, an automated Level 4 safety truck.

The award, newly created by the International Truck of the Year jury, will be presented from this year forward to companies with outstanding products that reflect technological change in the commercial vehicle sector. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 in Hanover, the MAN Truck & Bus Truck Innovation Award 2019 was presented to Joachim Dress, chairman of the executive board of MAN Truck & Bus and MAN SE, by IToY jury president Gianenrico Griffini during the press conference.

MAN aFAS – the “automatic driverless safety vehicle for workplaces on federal motorways” – is a highly innovative safety solution that MAN has developed over a period of four years with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and with the involvement of technical institutions and several important supplier partners. In addition to MAN Truck & Bus AG, the following companies and institutions were involved in development: BASt – Federal Highway Research Institute, Hessen Mobil – Road and Traffic Management, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences – Technology and Economics, Technical University of Braunschweig – Institute of Automatic Control, ZF TRW, WABCO and Bosch Automotive Steering.

The highly innovative vehicle – a MAN TGM 18.340 – travels unmanned, fully automatically and slowly behind moving construction sites and uses car-to-car communication to follow the truck ahead of it, which is used on the breakdown lane of motorways. Conventional follow-on vehicles are still often involved in serious rear-end collisions, some of them dramatic. When the MAN aFAS is in use, there is no driver in the vehicle.

The IToY jury praised the fact that the MAN aFAS has already been tested without any problems on more than 4000 kilometres of public roads and liked the straightforward vehicle handling and extensive use of series components. The jury members also highlighted that the aFAS can save lives, as mobile construction sites on motorways pose a high risk of accident for construction site personnel.

“With the aFAS project, MAN has not only delivered an effective solution for safety on mobile construction sites, but has also gained important insight for the future technical development of fully autonomous vehicles,” said Griffini.

Drees underscored the practical relevance of aFAS, saying the system had already been tested under real conditions on motorways in the German state of Hesse.

“As you can see, we’re not just talking about innovation, we’re living it! And the experts on the International Truck of the Year jury recognised our efforts.”