Scania has unveiled a new driverless – and indeed cabless – concept truck which looks to be aimed at the mining and construction sectors.
Describing it as “the latest member of our autonomous family”, Scania says the AXL is a fully autonomous concept truck, without a cab.
In what is another milestone in the development of heavy self-driving vehicles, a group of Scania experts in different fields have teamed up and developed a concept truck, which, even without the cab, has the company’s modular system at the heart of the design.
As different industries look to streamline transport assignments and make them more sustainable, self-driving vehicles are increasingly being considered.
Mines and large closed construction sites are examples of environments that are favourable for self-driving pilots since they are well-controlled locations.
A significant step towards the transport systems of the future
Henrik Henriksson, Scania’s President and CEO, says: “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.”
For autonomous vehicles, software is in many ways more important than hardware. Scania AXL is steered and monitored by an intelligent control environment.
In mines, for example, the autonomous operations are facilitated by a logistics system that tells the vehicle how it should perform.
Claes Erixon, head of research and development at Scania, says: “We already have self-driving trucks in customer operations.
“However so far, they have been with room for a safety driver who can intervene if necessary. 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.”
Mix of traditional and new technology
The combustion engine that powers the concept vehicle is an example of how traditional and new technology is mixed. It is advantageously powered by renewable biofuel.
Scania says the robust and powerful features and design behind Scania AXL match the tougher environments in mines and large construction sites.
A new intelligent front module replaces the traditional cab, but even without a cab the concept is easily recognisable as a Scania.