KAMAZ launches self-driving freight trucks on the M-11 NEVA highway
June 14, 2023
Naberezhnye Chelny, June 14, 2023 – Today, under the Unmanned Logistic Corridors project, unmanned KAMAZ freight trucks started running along the M-11 Neva federal highway.
The launch of self-driving KAMAZ trucks on the M-11 highway for goods transportation along the route St. Petersburg – Moscow – St. Petersburg became the first stage of the Unmanned Logistics Corridors project and took place as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. In total, four digital freight trucks, as part of a road train with a semi-trailer, will transport cargo between the two cities.
The vehicles were created on the basis of the KAMAZ-54901 truck tractor. The model is equipped with communication, navigation, technical vision, and incoming information processing systems. The brake and steering system, engine and automatic transmission are controlled using an electronic CAN bus.
The vehicles will operate between the logistics terminals of Moscow and St. Petersburg hub-to-hub, without stops in other cities. The length of the route will be 650 km. As Sergey Nazarenko, Chief Designer for Innovative Vehicles of KAMAZ PTC, explained, self-driving freight trucks will operate 24/7, that is, restrictions related to drivers’ work and rest schedule do not apply to these vehicles. The truck will stop only for loading and unloading, refueling, as well as for vehicle maintenance – changing filters, oil, etc. During the trip, in accordance with the ELR program (experimental legal regime), a test engineer will sit in the cab, ready to take control in emergency situations.
The highly automated vehicles started running on the M-11 highway as part of the experimental legal regime introduced for unmanned trucks. The purpose of the launch is to conduct research tests of robotic vehicles on public roads, to develop algorithms, cargo flows, and organizational features of the operation of robotic vehicles. Also important is the parallel building of a system of interaction between the operator of unmanned transportation, logistics companies and the operator of the infrastructure.
The design consortium has been formed with the largest Russian technology developers, vehicle manufacturers, carriers and shippers. In addition to the manufacturer of highly automated vehicles, KAMAZ PTC, Globaltruck, PEC, Gazpromneft-Snabzhenie, Avtodor Group as an infrastructure operator, and other companies became participants of the event.
“The development of self-driving vehicles is one of the current trends in the automotive industry. KAMAZ is a leader in this area. The company has developed a line of unmanned trucks for various operations. Some of them have already been tested in real operating conditions in closed areas. The introduction of an experimental legal regime on the M-11 Neva highway and the launch of KAMAZ unmanned freight trucks makes it possible to test our developments in the field of unmanned freight transport on public roads, and will also allow us to test the commercial use of unmanned truck technology in practice, in real traffic conditions,” commented Sergey Kogogin, Director General of KAMAZ PTC.
“Today KAMAZ is working on a number of projects on unmanned vehicles. In the near future, the company will be able to expand its customer base by including in the line of highly automated vehicles both the usual civilian areas – the transportation of passengers, cargo, and highly specialized technical solutions. The results of the first stage of the Unmanned Logistic Corridors project will determine plans for the further development of the direction and the schedule for the production of this equipment,” said Irek Gumerov, Development Director – Deputy General Director of KAMAZ PTC.
The Unmanned Logistics Corridors project is part of the strategic initiatives of the Russian Ministry of Transport. They were developed as part of the execution of the instructions of the President of Russia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the preparation of the Strategy for the Digital Transformation of the Transport Industry. Technological, organizational and business solutions that will be worked out within the framework of the experimental legal regime on the M-11 will form the basis of future transport and logistics corridors. By 2030, unmanned transportation is planned to be organized on 19.5 thousand km of federal roads. According to the Ministry of Transport, the use of unmanned vehicles on public roads will improve traffic safety, contribute to the creation of new types of commercial activities, and reduce the cost of drivers and fuel.