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SAIC showcases first autonomous truck at Shanghai port

A 5G-based “intelligent” – meaning autonomous – heavy duty truck developed by Chinese auto giant SAIC Motor made its debut at Shanghai Yangshan Deepwater Port, the largest cargo port in the world.

The demonstration was conducted as part of SAIC exhibition at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, which took place in Shanghai, China recently.

The SAIC 5G truck completed a task through the use of 5G and artificial intelligence technologies, which is the first time such an operation was successfully conducted in the world.

SAIC says the truck is equipped with an intelligent driving control system independently developed by SAIC Motor, which may conduct big data collection and analysis, and is able to learn through experience.

Its intelligent driving electronic chassis can automatically control the vehicle’s movements.

The truck has also pioneered the use of an environmentally-friendly LNG engine and an automatic gearbox with 12 gears as its powertrain, meaning the truck releases no pollution while moving.

The truck is an integration of advanced technologies such as lidar, machine vision, high-precision mapping, and 5G-V2X communications.

With the support of 5G-V2X communications technology, the truck managed to complete such tasks as “level 4” autonomous driving, centimeter-accuracy positioning, precise stopping with a margin of error of ±5cm, interaction with the port’s automatic equipment and driving on the Shanghai Donghai Bridge.

SAIC says the “Model of Intelligent Container Transferring” shown at WAIC “vividly demonstrates” how its 5G truck works between Yangshan Port, Donghai Bridge and Lingang Logistics Park: there’s not a single person in sight, but work is going smoothly on the 2.3-kilometer shoreline of the fourth-phase of the Yangshan Port and the tens of kilometers of container transferring line.

The truck coordinates with other intelligent devices at the port to complete complex jobs, handling cargo within 15 seconds and starting autonomous driving soon after, independently planning the optimal routes and delivering cargo to the designated location.

SAIC Motor has been stepping up efforts to develop intelligent driving technologies. It has strengthened cooperation with many famous companies such as Alibaba, Wuhan Kotei Informatics, Mobileye and TTTech, and has signed agreements with the Traffic Management Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security, China Mobile and Huawei.

SAIC Motor is also the holding company of Zhong Hai Ting, a high-precision map producer with the qualification to survey and map the national navigation electronic map.

SAIC Motor’s intelligent driving vehicles have finished over 120,000 kilometers of road test, 10,000 of which were on open roads.

Its third generation sample intelligent driving vehicles, which have the functions of level 4 self-driving cars in natural urban transport circumstances, have obtained open roads test licenses.

Currently, level 2 and level 3 intelligent driving technologies, such as augmented reality based intelligent navigation, intelligent assist driving, and self-parking, have been applied in several models of SAIC Motor, such as Roewe Marvel X, RX5 Max and Maxus D60.

As its 5G-based intelligent heavy duty truck successfully, the company is expected to have its level 4 intelligent driving technologies commercialized in the near future.

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