Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG and MAN Truck & Bus have signed a cooperation agreement to test the use of automated and autonomous trucks over the next two and a half years.
According to HHLA, the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder and a 70-kilometre stretch of the A7 motorway in Hamburg will serve as the testing environment. The goal of the partnership is to analyze and validate the exact requirements for customer-specific deployment in a real-world setting and the integration of autonomously driven trucks into the automatic container-handling process. Forward-looking standards for methodology and implementation will also be defined.
“The project Hamburg TruckPilot is another important development step for automated driving for MAN,“ said Frederik Zohm, member of the management board for research and development at MAN Truck & Bus. “As with other projects, the focus here is on integrating the system into concrete workflows for a future user. Together with HHLA, we will generate important insights for the further development of the technology into a system that is ready for the customer.”
The project framework will initially involve two prototype trucks equipped with the necessary electronic automation systems. They will enter the A7 motorway at the Soltau-Ost junction fully automated, then autonomously handle discharging and loading within the Altenwerder terminal.
The project is divided into three phases. In the preparatory phase, which has already started and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018, the technical framework conditions will be defined. The testing phase, which will run from January 2019 to June 2020, will cover the technical development of the system on the MAN testing grounds in Munich, in accordance with the specific requirements identified in the preparatory phase. The trial operations in a customer-relevant context between July and December 2020 will be based on the results of the preparatory and testing phases. A trained safety driver will be present in the vehicle at all times during the trials to monitor the automation systems and will intervene where required.
The Hamburg TruckPilot project is part of the strategic transport partnership between the City of Hamburg and the Volkswagen Group to shape the urban transport of the future and to develop Hamburg as a model city for futuristic, sustainable and integrated transportation. The results will be presented at the 28th ITS World Congress, scheduled to take place in October 2021 in Hamburg, according to HHLA.