Iveco has partnered with toll road operator, Transurban and Silicon Valley-based autonomous driving software company, Plus to investigate ways to make trucking safer, more efficient, and more sustainable in Australia.
Iveco S-Way trucks will be integrated with Plus’ Level 4 autonomous driving technology, and tested with smart road infrastructure throughout the partnership.
This partnership builds upon Iveco and Plus’ existing collaboration, in which they aim to develop highly automated trucking solutions for Europe.
Two of Iveco’s latest S-Way AS 550 prime movers are being factory fitted with Plus’ latest autonomous driving technologies and integrated with smart motorway infrastructure to enhance the perception and awareness capabilities of the autonomous trucks. The trucks will have capacity to carry up to 43 tonnes.
Iveco ANZ head Michael May says the company was excited to be chosen as the commercial vehicle partner for the ground-breaking activity.
“Iveco has a long history of innovation and has been at the forefront of the commercial vehicle industry for many years, particularly where new technologies and sustainability are concerned,” May says.
“Based in Melbourne, the Iveco Customer Innovation Centre is very excited to begin this collaborative project and support the next steps in creating sustainable and efficient ecosystems of freight movement.
With road freight projected to grow steadily in the coming decades, self-driving trucks operating during off-peak periods have the potential to transform the freight industry by moving more goods, more quickly, and more sustainably.
It is anticipated that this will also deliver positive economic and social outcomes for consumers, motorists and governments by reducing congestion and improving road safety.
The Plus software uses advanced generative AI, machine learning, computer vision, and other state-of-the-art algorithms to empower vehicles with superhuman awareness and control.
Equipped with advanced light detection and ranging, radar and camera sensors, Plus’ autonomous driving software can detect and precisely track objects, predict their movement, and then safely manoeuvre the vehicle.
“To be partnering with industry leaders like Transurban and Plus on this project is certainly exciting and we look forward to playing a role in contributing to the evolution of the road transport industry on its search for greater efficiency, safety and sustainability,” May says.
The parties are seeking to understand the long-term opportunities for autonomous trucking to move freight, and the broad benefits this may deliver for transportation and our cities, which may include reduced congestion, improved road safety and traffic flow, and the more efficient and sustainable movement of freight.
On-road pilot testing activity is expected to commence in early 2024.