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A world first for autonomous trucking

Scania InterLink LD, Gas. Lahti, Finland Photo: Dan Boman 2015

Transportation giant Scania is to design the world’s first full-scale autonomous truck platooning operations to transport cargo between ports in Singapore.

Scania’s technology will be used with the aim of organising convoys of four trucks – with the following three trucks behind the lead truck autonomously driven, with the processes for precise docking and undocking of cargo also fully automated.

“Autonomous vehicles and platooning are cornerstones of future sustainable transport systems,” says Claes Erixon, Head of Research and Development at Scania. “This is a great opportunity to demonstrate our leadership and technology in this new exciting area. We are pioneering in this field, which has the potential not only to save lives in traffic, but also to significantly decrease the environmental impact of transport.”

Singapore has a government dedicated to advancing new autonomous vehicle technology so the country is the ideal ‘living laboratory’ to test the next generation of transport. Singapore has tested autonomous cars, taxis, utility vehicles and buses, and is now adding trials of truck platooning concepts. Truck platoons have already shown the potential to achieve major fuel savings as well as contribute to increased road safety.

The multi-year project is organised by the Ministry of Transport and the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corporation). Toyota is also participating in this project.

“Scania is well advanced in cutting edge autonomous technology as well as in platooning. Singapore has launched several autonomous vehicle initiatives and together we will now demonstrate how we can substantially enhance productivity in the Port of Singapore,” says Mark Cameron, Country Manager, Scania Singapore.

The truck platooning trials will take place in two phases. The first phase will focus on designing, testing and refining the truck platooning technology to adapt to local conditions. These will be conducted by Scania and Toyota at their respective research centres in Sweden and Japan, to leverage their existing development work. The second phase will consist of local trials and development of the technology in Singapore.

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