Volvo and Aurora have unveiled an autonomous long-haul semi prototype that is based on the VNL. There’s a shortage of truck drivers. This, unfortunately, has exasperated Britain’s fuel crisis as well as slowed deliveries to retail stores. While the problem is really not new, the solution could, in fact, come in the form of autonomous semis. That could very well help this pressing issue going forward.
Moreover, the prototype is equipping with an Aurora sensor suite. Also, it does appear to include at least close four different lidar sensors. It is billing as an “important step that is toward launching fully autonomous Class 8 trucks that are commercial in North America.”
The Aurora has in the past said that their system does also use high-resolution cameras and radar sensors. In fact, it promises to provide overlapping coverage of the truck’s surroundings, which should allow for added safety.
The companies have noted that safety is paramount, speaking of the latter. It is suggesting that are going to be redundancies for the core systems such as braking and steering. Also, Aurora has also said the immediate collaboration means they’re “not retrofitting each truck with hundreds of these driverless platform requirements. Plus critical redundancies and controls on our own” which is an “incredibly inefficient and unreliable process.” Instead, the company is working with Volvo in designing the VNL architecture. This would be to support their autonomous driving system from the beginning.
In fact, this will not happen overnight. Moreover, Aurora is going to work on the next many months to integrate their hardware kit as well as testing and validating prototypes. More can be learned in the future according to these companies. However, they are now working to identify specific regions and routes. These would be to serve as the first hubs for on-road highway testing.