MAN Truck & Bus is involved in the so-called ANITA project on the use of autonomous trucks at the container depot of DB Intermodal Services and the DUSS terminal in Ulm. A few months ago, MAN Truck & Bus and Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) have successfully completed the joint project Hamburg TruckPilot for the use of self-driving trucks in port terminals.
Autonomous MAN trucks within the ANITA project
Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, which already presented its analysis results in the summer of 2021, is developing software for automated vehicle deployment at Ulm terminal with Deon Digital. For a truck to be able to drive fully automatically in the container and DUSS terminals in Ulm in the future, it must be able to communicate with the infrastructure. Together with its partner Deon Digital, Hochschule Fresenius has now transferred these findings into a digital set of rules and programmed various modules based on a common language.
The result is a complete mission planning system that links both the vehicle and the two very different IT systems of the container and DUSS terminals. Like a universal interpreter, the solution speaks the languages of all heterogeneous systems and guides the automated truck through the container handling process. This software, which is constantly being optimised, can now be used by the project partners MAN Truck & Bus and Götting in the development of the autonomous vehicle. The first test drives with the prototype truck are expected to take place in Ulm Dornstadt at the end of 2022.
Using the autonomous truck in container handling
«Automated transfer of loading units between our transshipment terminal and the container depot will enable combined transport to be handled even more efficiently and sustainably», explained Thomas Wünsch, Project Manager IT and Processes at DUSS.
«Thanks to the good fundamental work of the Hochschule Fresenius and the creation of the mission planning, we can now initiate the next development steps for our ANITA truck. This brings us ever closer to our common goal of using the autonomous truck in container handling. These project test drives will also provide us as MAN with further knowledge for the development of future autonomous driving in hub-to-hub traffic on defined routes between logistics terminals», added MAN project manager Amelie Jacquemart-Purson about the milestone that has now been reached.
News on the development of the ANITA (Autonomous Innovation in Terminal Operations) project are available on the newly-created website at this link.