03. March 2021

LCM: Autonomous Freight Traffic, In All Weathers

Self-driving vehicles must function and be safe regardless of whether the sun is shining or it is raining, snowing or foggy. “Once again, Upper Austria is attracting international attention as a trial region for self-driving vehicles as efforts continue to make autonomous freight traffic viable in all kinds of weather,” says the province’s economy and research minister Markus Achleitner. “Over the next three years a driverless electric transporter will be trialled in every kind of weather on a test route in Gunskirchen. This research project has been granted EUR 2.85 million in EU funds.”

The project, named AWARD, is headed in Austria by the DigiTrans GmbH test region and involves the two companies BRP-Rotax GmbH & Co KG and DB Schenker Austria. The test route is a roughly 600-metre stretch between the logistics centre at DB Schenker Austria and the engine manufacturer BRP-Rotax in Gunskirchen. Currently, a conventional truck covers this route several times a day, but from 2023 a self-driving electric transporter with a test licence will take over, regardless of whether it is raining, snowing, sunny or foggy. The challenge is to ensure that the sensors required work in all conditions to make self-driving vehicles safe in every situation. As part of AWARD, LCM is supporting the pilot study by integrating and testing UWB positioning (ultra-wideband technology) both inside and out as well as in loading scenarios.

(c) DFDS