Scania will design the world’s first full-scale autonomous truck platooning operations, based on its own advanced technology. The aim is to organise convoys of four trucks, with the following three trucks behind the lead truck autonomously driven, as well as to fully automate the processes for precise docking/undocking of cargo.
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.
The Government of Singapore is trying to be in the forefront of new autonomous vehicle technology. 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.
With the vehicle population in Singapore approaching one million, the Initiative seeks to address the increasing travel demand and land constraints – 12 percent of Singapore’s total land is used for road and land transport infrastructure. Additionally, the country faces a shortage of drivers.
The authorities have therefore established Singapore as a “living laboratory” for new vehicle concepts that will increase productivity, road safety, optimise road capacity and enable new mobility concepts.
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.
“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,” said Mark Cameron, Country Manager, Scania Singapore.
“Trucking as we know it today is a highly labour-intensive industry. We face a shortage of truck drivers. In this regard, truck platooning technology presents us with an opportunity to boost productivity in both the port sector and the trucking industry. It will also open up opportunities for truck drivers to take on higher-skilled roles as fleet operators and managers”, said Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary for Transport and Chairman of the Committee on Autonomous Road Transport in Singapore (CARTS).
Read about Europe’s Prometheus project, which pioneered autonomous driving back in 1986.