Scania has joined Komatsu in coming up with a cabless automated haulage concept for mines and construction sites.
The fully autonomous concept truck, the Scania AXL, is the result of a group of Scania experts in different fields teaming up and developing a concept truck, which, even without a cab, has the company’s modular system at the heart of the design, Scania says.
“As different industries look to streamline transport assignments and make them more sustainable, self-driving vehicles are increasingly being considered,” Scania said. “Mines and large closed construction sites are examples of environments that are favourable for self-driving pilots since they are well-controlled locations.”
At MINExpo 2016, Komatsu unveiled its own “Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle” featuring a cabless structure. It then showcased this vehicle at an event at its Arizona Proving Grounds near Tucson, last year.
Scania’s President and CEO, Henrik Henriksson, said: “With the Scania AXL concept truck, we are taking a significant step towards the smart transport systems of the future, where self-driving vehicles will play a natural part.
“We continue to build and pilot concepts to demonstrate what we can do with the technology that is available today.”
The Scania AXL is steered and monitored by an intelligent control environment where, in mines, the autonomous operations are facilitated by a logistics system that tells the vehicle how it should perform. The front module of the machine is equipped with cameras, radar, LiDAR and GPS receivers to generate a common view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings. In addition, the combustion engine that powers the concept vehicle is powered by renewable biofuel.
Claes Erixon, Head of Research and Development at Scania, said the company already has self-driving trucks in customer operations.
“However, so far, they have been with room for a safety driver who can intervene if necessary,” he said. “Scania AXL does not have a cab and that changes the game significantly. The development in self-driving vehicles has made great strides in the past years. We still don’t have all the answers, but through concept vehicles like Scania AXL we break new ground and continue to learn at great speed.”
The first live demo of Scania AXL will take place at TRATON GROUP’s Innovation Day on October 2, at Scania’s demo centre in Södertälje, Sweden.