Scania is testing the autonomous column driving – platooning – between two harbor terminals in Singapore. As soon as the vehicles are adapted to the local conditions, four trucks should be driven close together. Other truck manufacturers are also planning their first practice tests.
The autonomous column driving of several trucks goes to the next round. Already last year, six truck manufacturers had attracted a great deal of attention with their cruise to Rotterdam and demonstrated that platooning is possible in road traffic. While there has been more discussion about legal details in Europe since then, Singapore is simply moving forward. The Ministry of Transport has launched a multi-year project with the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corporation) to test platooning. Scania and Toyota are part of it.
The Swedish truck manufacturer will, according to its own data, be the first commercial vehicle builder to test platooning on public roads. In the first phase, the actors will refine their own techniques and adapt them to local conditions.
The fact that Singapore is a leader in the field of highly-automated driving may also be due to the fact that the city has an area of only 719 km2 on which is home to about 5.5 million people. Already today, twelve percent of the area is used for roads and transport infrastructure. And another point is adding to it: “In Singapore, a shortage of skilled workers is just about to happen. Platooning gives us the opportunity to increase productivity. This also means that truck drivers can work as fleet managers at the same time.” Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary for Transport and Chairman of the Committee on Autonomous Road Transport in Singapore (CARTS), says.
In Germany the players are also organizing first practical tests. For example, MAN and DB Schenker are planning to test a platoon on the A9 between Munich and Nuremberg on the “Digital Test Field Autobahn” next year. In the next step autonomous trucking is planned on the DB Schenker site in Nuremberg. At the end of last year, both companies wrote this down in a so-called “Memorandum of understanding”.
Although industry leader Daimler is currently relatively quiet. However, the fact that they sent a platoon to Rotterdam last year proved that the Stuttgarters are on the agenda. Also involved were DAF, Iveco, MAN, Scania and Volvo.