The latest member in the Swedish CV giant Scania's portfolio is the AXL, a fully autonomous truck that parts ways with the traditional truck cab design; AXL is loaded with cameras, radar and lidar for safer operations across mining as well as controlled operations
Scania has introduced the AXL, its fully autonomous concept truck that has been designed keeping in mind the smart transport systems of the future. The truck parts ways with a traditional truck cabin design and is a joint effort of various teams across Scania's engineering capabilities. The modular system of AXL aims to further streamline transport assignments while making them more sustainable.
The brain of the AXL carries intelligent front module equipped with seven cameras, radars all around the concept vehicle, lidar sensors and GPS receivers that work in tandem to process data based on specific algorithms from immediate surroundings. The company's biggest challenge was to ensure that the AXL is fully safe, while depicting robustness for heavy duty applications. Since half of the cab is already gone sans driver, the leading challenge was to balance the truck proportions that has a tipper unit blending well with the front module. Thus, Scania went ahead with an integrated style design language that also carried forward its traditional grille design.
The white line in front is the human design interface that reflects the operator’s position when he goes around the vehicle. Scania has captialised upon its software capabilities that it has developed over the years spread across other projects. According to the company, information sourced by radars is inadequate to identify objects or pedestrians at a distance. Cameras do cover up with this shortfall, as they offer a great level of detail as well as 2D overview; however, it mandates software support for viewing to convert 2D images into 3D. Engineers at Scania additionally introduced Lidar for light detection and ranging and also take better decisions, in case of conflicts among cameras and radars. AXL is powered by a combustion engine that comes to life with biofuel.
Scania’s President & CEO Henrik Henriksson, said the company will continue to develop pilot concepts to showcase what can be done with the today’s technology.
Scania claims that the software will play the lead role in development and success of autonomous vehicles. Since mines and large closed construction sites are well controlled locations, self-driving pilots like AXL will play be favourites for such environments.