Driverless trucks! The first self-driving truck in day-to-day operation could be a mining truck from Scania, the Swedish company says.
Scania is at the forefront of research in the driverless trucks area with tests under real-life conditions not far away. Furthermore, some of Scania’s customers in Australia are already discussing potential application opportunities for the future.
At this moment, European prototypes are hard at work under gruelling conditions, testing the remote control capabilities of the technology, as well as assessing how the vehicle responds without hands-on control.
Scania’s ‘Astator’ test vehicles have been developed to the point they can now drive around with an empty driver’s seat on a test track, running through simulations of loading and unloading under remote control. It’s also capable of safely dealing with obstacles on the road.
This mining truck is the first of its kind, with developers at Scania and researchers from technical colleges in Sweden examining the role driverless trucks could play in tomorrow’s transport system.
“Mines are environments that are especially well suited to self-driving vehicles,” says Lars Hjorth, responsible for pre-development within Autonomous Transport Solutions at Scania.
“The area is contained and the operator can control what equipment or personnel are working in the area.”
Hjorth is also Project Manager for iQMatic, a research project that Scania is conducting in cooperation with other Swedish companies, such as Saab and Autoliv.
The project is being run with support from the Swedish Government and also involves researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Linköping University.
Up to now, the mining industry has relied upon large and expensive construction-style vehicles for its heavy transport requirements.
But interest is increasing around the world in smaller scale and more flexible solutions involving specialised mining trucks.
“A truck solution is more cost effective, with the total cost per transported tonne being significantly lower,” says Hjorth.
“The infrastructure costs are also reduced as trucks don’t require specially reinforced roads.”
Self-driving solutions for construction-style vehicles have been around for some years now.
”Now the possibility is opening up to do the same thing with trucks, which could push the mining industry’s costs down even further,” says Hjorth.
His 20-member team within Scania’s Research and Development department is intensively researching self-driving vehicles and the peripheral systems needed to make them a part of tomorrow’s transport system in various areas.
“Self-driving mining trucks could become a reality within a few years and the impetus and potential is here today,” says Hjorth.
“The next step could be self-driving container trucks in ports. And after that the technology will also come to the long haul transport sector, with self-driving vehicles driving between large transport centres where their cargoes are then loaded into last mile delivery trucks.”
In Australia, Scania is already in dialogue with a number of customers regarding potential applications for driverless trucks, both on road and in off-road non-traffic environments.
“We see a lot of opportunity for Scania to leverage its autonomous truck technology in the not-so-distant future in Australia,” says Robert Taylor, General Manager of Scania Australia’s Mining and Resources division.
“Customers are already talking with us to find out how we can assist them to implement this technology for specific applications. There is also a lot of interest in platooning for road train line-haul work as well,” he says.
Freightliner introduces four year or 800,000km warranty
Freightliner introduces four year or 800,000km warranty – Freightliner has introduced Australia’s best warranty on any American truck.
The generous extended warranty covers the Argosy cab-over and Coronado 114 conventional truck for four years or 800,000km.
The extended warranty is not a short term offer, and will be made available for new customers all the way through until December 31, 2016.
“Freightliner is committed to supporting our customers and their businesses,” says Freightliner Australia director, Stephen Downes.
“Offering Australia’s best warranty on any American truck is a good example of that commitment.”
Mr Downes says Freightliner is prepared to back its product because of its quality.
“We are confident in our product and we want new customers to be able to share our confidence by knowing the truck is covered in the rare event there is an issue,” he says.
Freightliner customers are also supported by one of the strongest service networks in Australia, which is made up of more than 40 service points.
All Freightliner trucks are covered by a standard one year/unlimited km warranty, while the extended warranty has been introduced for the most popular models in the range, the Argosy and Coronado 114.
There are two parts to the extended warranty program. The first is the basic complimentary extended warranty for three years/800,000km, which incorporates the components originally covered by the basic vehicle warranty.
There is also the drivetrain component complimentary extended warranty for two years/800,000km, which covers such items as the transmission, clutch, driving axles and more.
Neither the standard or extended warranties cover the truck’s engine, which is covered by the engine manufacturer, being either Detroit or Cummins.
Potential customers should consult a Freightliner dealer for further details and exclusions.
The introduction of the extended warranty program comes as Freightliner further strengthens its product offering with the Cummins ISXe5 Argosy cab-over, the first Argosy to be offered with Selective Catalytic Reduction. Unlike some of its competitors, Freightliner offers its customers the choice of a Detroit engine or an optional Cummins powerplant in either Coronado or Argosy.
Narva’s Most Powerful Globe
All New ‘Platinum Plus 130 – Narva’s Most Powerful Globe – Leading automotive lighting and electrical company, Narva, continues to raise the benchmark in the lighting stakes following the recent release if its ‘Platinum Plus 130’ globes which offer huge performance gains over more traditional globes.
The all-new Platinum Plus 130 globes provide a remarkable 130 per cent higher light volume compared to a standard globe. Additionally users also benefit from a 20 per cent whiter light output (3750°K).
The longer beam penetration provides extra forward visibility of up to 40 metres, while the whiter light output can considerably reduce driver eye fatigue and improves safety by increasing overall road visibility.
Despite the performance gains, Platinum Plus 130 globes are ADR approved and totally street legal, providing a safe upgrade to OEM lighting across a wide variety of car, light commercial and motorcycle applications.
Another benefit of Narva’s new globes is that there is no increase in power draw or heat displacement meaning the globes are suitable for fitment in polycarbonate headlamps.
Available in 12V in H4 (60/55W) and H7 (55W) types, globes can be purchased from leading automotive outlets.
The Platinum Plus 130 globes are the latest addition to the Narva performance globe range.
Also available are ‘Plus 60 Longer Life’, ‘24V Plus 100’, ‘Plus 100’, ‘Plus 120’, ‘Blue Plus 110’ ‘Arctic Plus 50’ and ‘Intense Blue Plus 30’ allowing users to select a globe to best suit their needs.
Subaru do™ Subaru Australia has announced a bold brand platform that brings to life a new brand promise: Subaru do™.
Over the next year, ‘do’ will be incorporated into every customer touch point, from dealerships to the digital space and marketing campaigns.
Subaru’s General Manager – Marketing, Andrew Caie, said: “2016 heralds the next chapter in Subaru Australia’s brand journey.
“There is a realisation that to grow we need to attract new customers to the brand.
“That means making us more accessible, more relevant and paramount to that is the need to inject new personality into the brand.
“Subaru ‘do’ will be the translation of Subaru’s tangible but human benefits to a broader market and creates a local expression working hand-in-hand with Subaru’s global tagline, Confidence in Motion.
“Do is a very short word with a very big meaning for Subaru in Australia, and will activate a new customer experience to come with buying and owning a Subaru. ‘Do’ is a thought that originates from what owners already see in Subaru’s fabric, a brand that is famous for getting more done, and having more fun.” Mr Caie added.
“Do is the ultimate verb and indicates a renewed focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience made possible by removing obstacles for customers choosing, buying and owning a Subaru.
“We will rollout ‘do’ at every touch point, model-by-model over the coming months starting with the new Subaru Forester later in March and drawing on an iconic ‘do, do do, do do, do do do…’ sound signature, the refrain from Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ in multi-platform digital and television campaigns.”
“Do” aligns closely to bring to life Subaru’s global “Confidence in Motion” direction that is also being incorporated into the brand’s communications locally.
The “do” direction replaces the successful All 4 the Driver initiative introduced six years ago.
The new direction will emerge next Sunday (March 20) with a new television commercial featuring the latest Subaru Forester.