Swedish manufacturer Scania has unveiled the AXL, a fully autonomous concept truck, without a cab, designed to be used in sites such as mines and closed construction sites.
Scania’s concept truck was designed and developed by experts in different fields and, even without the traditional cab – replaced by a new intelligent front module – it has the company’s modular system at the heart of the design. The combustion engine that powers the AXL is powered by renewable biofuel.
Self-driving vehicles are increasingly being considered as options in environments such as mines and large closed construction sites, and the Scania AXL has been designed for tough environments such as these. These are favourable for self-driving pilots since they are well-controlled locations.
“With the Scania AXL concept truck, we are taking a significant step towards the smart transport systems of the future, where self-driving vehicles will play a natural part,” said Scania’s president and CEO Henrik Henriksson. “We continue to build and pilot concepts to demonstrate what we can do with the technology that is available today.”
Scania’s AXL is steered and monitored by an intelligent control environment. In mines, for example, the autonomous operations are facilitated by a logistics system that tells the vehicle how it should perform.
Claes Erixon, head of research and development at Scania, added: “We already have self-driving trucks in customer operations. However so far, they have been with room for a safety driver who can intervene if necessary. Scania AXL does not have a cab and that changes the game significantly. The development in self-driving vehicles has made great strides in the past years. We still don’t have all the answers, but through concept vehicles like Scania AXL we break new ground and continue to learn at great speed.”