Ford Otosan and AVL continue their collaboration on developing autonomous driving for trucks with a new project. Successfully demonstrating 'platooning - autonomous convoy' technology in the fall of 2019, the partners are now focusing on the "Level 4 Highway Pilot" technology. Thanks to this technology, which is being developed for use in highway transportation, trucks will be able to autonomously transport activities between H2H (hub-to-hub) logistics centers.
Level 4 Highway Pilot technology is expected to provide a more efficient and safe transportation solution in the long run compared to today's transportation. The goal of the development work on this technology is to be able to drive autonomously as much as a driver-driven vehicle, and even more secure. For this purpose, algorithms are developed to ensure safe driving in various weather, traffic and road conditions. These algorithms are tested both in virtual environment and on real trucks with the data collected during real driving.
AVL and Ford Otosan primarily work on more frequent traffic scenarios within the scope of the project. It is planned to gradually increase the complexity of the scenarios as the project progresses. best-of-class lidar, radar, award-winning International Truck of the Year two cameras equipped with sensors and mission computer Ford Trucks F-MAX, already began collecting data in Germany and Turkey road. The data collected during real drives will be used to train and test artificial intelligence (AI)-based detection and decision-making algorithms.
Algorithms determined as necessary to fulfill the Level 4 Highway Pilot function will be developed jointly by Ford Otosan and AVL using an advanced engineering approach. Innovative and systematic verification methodologies will be applied to ensure that the developed autonomous driving features reach the highest maturity and safety. While AVL's engineering teams in Regensburg and Istanbul contribute with their extensive knowledge and experience in software development, Ford Otosan will add strength to the project with its expertise in developing Autonomous Driving Systems and Driver Assistance Systems for heavy commercial vehicles.
Ford Otosan Deputy General Manager Burak Gökçelik expressed his expectations regarding the project as follows: “In this second phase of our R&D cooperation, we aim to develop and test Level 4 Autonomous Trucks to be used on highways for autonomous transportation between logistics centers. By automating a significant portion of heavy commercial transport passing on highways, our Ford Trucks trucks will offer safer, faster, cheaper, environmentally friendly and reliable transport. It will create value for fleet owners, drivers, customers and society.
Highlighting the potential of autonomous transportation between logistics centers, AVL Executive Board Member and Vice President Rolf Dreisbach said: “By making logistics inter-center transport activities autonomous, it is aimed to reduce operating costs by up to 30% and significantly reduce the number of accidents involving trucks. With the technology development power and innovative approaches of AVL, we want to support our customers in their commissioning of Autonomous Driving solutions to be in the best position in their sector.
Ford Otosan and AVL aim to introduce autonomous transport technology between logistics centers in the first half of 2021, the next important step in their successful cooperation.