Photo credits @ Iveco Group

DSV, Dm, IVECO and Plus put autonomous trucks on the road

Danish logistics operator DSV, Italian HGV manufacturer Iveco, German health and beauty retailer Dm-Drogeriemarkt, and US software company Plus are starting tests for autonomous driving on the road in Germany. The vehicle is intended to deliver goods from Dm to the DSV distribution centre over a distance of around 62 kilometres.

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The collaboration between the logistics partners and the software company for future autonomous driving in delivery and freight transport was already announced in November last year. Now the Danish logistics service provider DSV and the drugstore chain Dm, together with Iveco and the software company Plus, have announced the start of the partially automated truck pilot project in Germany.

In the first phase, Iveco drivers will carry out the test and accompany and train the DSV drivers. After that, the trained drivers will be able to drive themselves, according to the project partners.

Will the semi-autonomous Iveco S-Way go into production?

After several months of intensive testing and validation procedures, the program will see the deployment of a new production version of the Iveco S-Way equipped with PlusDrive, Plus’ driver-monitored driving software. This brings the PlusDrive-enabled Iveco S-Way “one step closer to the start of series production,” the companies said.

“A decarbonised future requires different technological innovations for different use cases. We are excited to start the pilot so that we can use our own data and operations to assess how Iveco and Plus’ state-of-the-art automated trucks fit into our future fleet of sustainable transport options,” said Peter Matthiesen, Senior Director, Head of Group Innovation and Truck Technology at DSV.

The program aims to collect real-world data on the operational benefits of the Iveco S-Way with PlusDrive. The benefits demonstrated in other customer deployments of PlusDrive worldwide include, according to the company, “increased comfort for drivers, improved road safety and greater fuel efficiency,” which, in turn, lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

What lies behind the optimised design

In addition to the already highly automated driving functions such as lane centring, advanced sensors have been integrated into the optimised design, and the optical remote sensing technology Lidar is available as an option for the PlusDrive visual perception system.

The system also supports lane changes initiated by the driver or suggested by the system and traffic jam assistance – all under the supervision and control of the driver.

“This new milestone of having a production-ready design of the PlusDrive-enabled S-Way is the result of close collaboration between the Plus and Iveco teams. We are very excited to demonstrate the capabilities and maturity of our autonomous driving software in this pilot project for DSV and Dm and to begin preparations for series production,” added Shawn Kerrigan, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Plus.