UD Trucks reveals first demonstration of Level 4 automation for heavy-duty trucks

In UD3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 13, 2018

A driver rides along for safety requirements, but the truck operates autonomously.

UD Trucks revealed its first demonstration of Level 4 (L4) automation for heavy-duty trucks at its headquarters in Japan on 12 December. The course emulated the real-use conditions of heavy-duty trucks in confined areas such as ports, factories, warehouses and construction sites, where automation technology will help improve efficiency, safety and productivity. L4 automation is the last step towards fully automated transportation, where the driver can give the vehicle full autonomy over every aspect of driving.

The demonstration highlighted automation technologies including GPS, radar, Lidar, on-board camera and software that enable such high-precision automation for starting, stopping, slaloming, U-turns and reversing. Balancing and manoeuvring heavy-duty payloads in unexpected road conditions requires a high level of expertise, especially in steering technology. The heavy-duty truck Quon will help stabilise automated driving with the Automatic Manual Transmission ESCOT VI and its proven steering system.

UD Trucks is currently participating in the Japanese government‘s highway platooning projects, and will continuously improve the accuracy and safety of automation technologies including vehicle-to-vehicle communications and lane keeping assistance.

As part of the Volvo Group, UD Trucks has access to a wealth of testing data that it uses to improve automation and connectivity technology to suit the unique needs of each customer. UD Trucks aims to partner with companies across the logistics industry and beyond to build knowledge and refine its technology through a strategy of ‘building knowledge while testing‘.

“UD Trucks is proud to present the first demo of Level 4 automation for heavy-duty trucks,” said UD Trucks senior vice president of technology, Douglas Nakano. “Today‘s demo is a major step toward practical application of this technology by 2020. 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 will continue demonstrations of autonomous driving and electric drive prototypes, aiming to complete field tests and customer trials ahead of Tokyo Motor Show 2019 – with a view toward daily operation by 2020 and commercialisation of fully electric trucks and autonomous trucks by 2030.

You can view a video of the demonstration here: https://youtu.be/0PzWxOE-5HE