As technology makes the Truck driver is superfluous

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The car industry is working on the dream of the freight forwarders – the trucks without a driver. At the IAA commercial vehicles, Daimler is to see: YOU and co. are progressing rapidly.



By J├╝rgen Pander and Emil Nefzger

David Pierce Brill

Emil Nefzger

Born in 1991, studied history, communication science and journalism in Munich. Training at the German school of journalism. Since January 2018 in the case of MIRROR ONLINE as an editor in the area of mobility.

More articles by Emil Nefzger

Wednesday, 19.09.2018
04:37 PM

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With the Autonomous it is like Driving in some traffic jams: The trucks, the Cars have come to the right faster than the left. Because first of all the Truck manufacturers truck with self-propelled load and make rapid progress.

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Autonomous Trucks:
The driver of the Board

The truck without a driver is the dominant theme at the IAA commercial vehicles in Hannover (20. to 27. September). The reason is banal. The man on the Wheel is unnecessary, would decrease the operating costs by up to 40 percent, a study by the consulting firm Roland Berger predicts. And the acute shortage of Drivers that exists in the transport sector, would also no longer a Problem.

Volvo tractor is reminiscent of a racing car

How a robot could look like a Truck, for example, shows Volvo with a spectacular study, which looks like a racing car with large wheels – completely without driver’s cabin. The Swedish manufacturer of the electrically powered tractor called a new “transport solution”, which should make the transport of goods “more efficient, safer and cleaner”.

To defined premises, it should not take long, to such tractors and semi-trailer manoeuvring back and forth. On public roads, it could take a little longer, but the Trend is unstoppable, obviously.

Mercedes is about presents at the IAA commercial vehicles the new Generation of heavy-duty truck Actros. The most spectacular innovation is the “world’s first semi-automated assistance system in a series-production Truck”, says Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

Steering, braking, on the Gas – the Truck can independently

The Computer slows down the Truck independently, the Gas and steers, and in all speed ranges. It was previously only in experimental vehicles. But now the technology is in every series Actros. According to the current laws needs to be a driver on Board, the responsibility of the Monitoring of the Traffic situation is still with him. But at least the new technology can relieve him. Autonomous Driving on Level 3 it’s called when the vehicle is in principle alone, however, the operator must be in constant readiness.

“Self-driving Trucks are mainly at Level 4 is interesting,” says Wolfgang Bernhart, commercial vehicle specialist and a Partner at the consulting firm Roland Berger. “Then the driver could take even a rest period, while the truck automatically on a specially designed route continues.”

Autopilot, instead of a resting place

A dream, the carrier would be true: If the driving requires a rest break for the driver, it must go to a resting place, but turns instead to the auto-pilot.

“When Autonomous driving Trucks in a convoy on the road, could be the logistics company for the Truck in Fuel savings of up to 30 percent. The have Tests, such a wind shadow rides in the United States,” says consultant Bernhart. Here too, the column is tested to for a long time. YOU can be on the not-yet-finished Berlin airport semi-trailer with only 15 meters distance, on the concrete surfaces of the boards.

Column is like riding a freight train without a Rail

The technique uses the Autonomous column of different assistance systems of the Truck, and GPS signals, Radar, and a laser driving based distance measurement called Lidar. By the push of a button, in the leader of the two Trucks are connected to the cabins via a so-called electronic drawbar. The driver of the forward vehicle brakes, Truck brakes, the rear load cart automatically, rear-end excluded. This is the first step to self-driving Truck on Germany’s roads.

From 2020 onwards, the technology could go into production – and the working life of Truck drivers which is a massive change. To draw, instead of self, to brake or Gas, must supervise the driver of the rear Truck of his vehicle. The rear Truck is doing exactly what the vehicle is, makes a Truck, together they form a column. Theoretically, almost any number of load could be coupled to the car adjacent to each other, in practice there will be only two copies.

The railway remains in many cases the most sensible means of transport

Several 40-Tonner, the mandatory thanks to the exception approval with 15 meters instead of 50 meters distance from the highway noise: This saves space and, above all, Fuel. How much, exactly, is that supposed to show an attempt by DB Schenker, and on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg. Three times a day the column runs between the logistics centers, loaded with its normal cargo.

A question remains: Would it be more appropriate to simulate instead of trucks a freight train to transport the cargo by train? “From an ecological and economic point of view, the Expansion of freight traffic would be on the Rail the first choice to transport Goods over long distances,” says Roland-Berger-man Bernhart. Nevertheless, the industry should also develop self-driving Truck in order to automate the entire traffic system stronger. One way or the other – the Job of the Truck driver will change radically.

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