Highly Automated Truck Being Tested on Public Roads in GermanyHighly Automated Truck Being Tested on Public Roads in Germany
It’s equipped with AI-based autonomous driving software and an advanced sensor suite that encompassed lidars, radars and cameras
July 13, 2023
A highly automated truck developed in tandem by IVECO and Plus is being tested on public roads in Germany.
The S-Way, made by the Italian commercial vehicle manufacturer, is fitted with PlusDrive, the Orlando-based company’s enhanced driver-assist solution based on its open autonomy platform.
PlusDrive is described as being Level 2++ in terms of its capabilities, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers’ scale of driving automation, which means it can deliver advanced driving assistance, but there must always be a human behind the wheel to supervise.
The road tests have come about following an extensive period of validation, including exhaustive closed-course testing, public road data collection and training of the test drivers to familiarize them with the truck’s safety features. In addition, the suitability and safety of the vehicle for operation on public roads was assessed by Germany’s respected certification body TÜV SÜD.
According to the companies, the ongoing collection of data during the public tests will play a key role in preparing the automated S-Way for future production.
The truck is equipped with AI-based autonomous driving software and an advanced sensor suite that encompassed lidars, radars and cameras, facilitating an array of different maneuvers.
These include lane centering (even in high winds or on roads with poor markings), cut-ins, lane merges, driver-initiated or system-suggested lane changes, assistance in traffic jams, and nudging, where the truck inches itself away from a passing large vehicle.
“By making trucking safer, easier and more sustainable, the new generation of powerful AI-based predictive safety technology like PlusDrive can help reduce the risk of accidents, improve fuel economy, enhance driver retention and ease truck driver shortage across Europe,” said Marco Liccardo, IVECO group’s chief technology and digital officer.
“We are excited to enter this next phase of our partnership with Plus, and demonstrate the increasing maturity of our IVECO S-Way with PlusDrive through public road testing and commercial operations.”
Following the introduction in Germany, operations will be rolled out in Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland over the coming months to allow further collection of data in the different driving conditions and diverse roads each of these countries offers.
“We are proud of the hard work that the IVECO and Plus teams have poured into getting this innovative driving solution on public roads for testing,” said Shawn Kerrigan, Plus COO and co-founder at Plus. “Some of the world’s largest fleets already use PlusDrive to deliver commercial freight. The sooner we can make this commercial product available to more fleets, the bigger impact we can have.”
Plus’s flourishing relationship with IVECO has been backed up with new deals in recent months with other partners. In May, it announced it would be teaming with Germany’s Bosch to use its integrated steering system in its automated trucks, while in June it confirmed an agreement with Orlando-based lidar developer Luminar to work together on automated and autonomous driving systems.
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