S.C.H. van der Burg
Development of automated trucks (NL. Ontwikkeling van geautomatiseerde
Report 2007.TEL.7190, Transport Engineering and Logistics.
Increasing number of vehicles causes several problems concerning safety,
efficiency and environment. Developments of intelligent driver assistance
systems for vehicles and fully automated transport systems have to increase
safety and efficiency and reduce the environmental impact.
Developments have two classifications, namely evolutionary and
revolutionary. Evolutionary developments consist of small adjustments or
control devices to improve the controllability of the vehicle, while
revolutionary developments discussed in this report consist of fully
Objective of the report is to present an overview of the evolutionary and
revolutionary developments in automated trucks, evaluate and compare the
developments and discuss possible future developments. Other fully automated
systems are also included to compare those systems with the developments of
Around the 1990's several research projects in Europe, the USA and Japan
started to make traffic safer and more efficient. These researches contained
driver assistance systems to assist the driver with controlling the vehicle.
The development of driver assistance systems resulted in application in the
car and truck industry. The evolutionary developments started with systems
to control the handling of the vehicle. The Anti-locking Brake System,
Traction Control and Stability Control prevent the driver from losing
control of the vehicle. Systems to detect other vehicles and avoid
collisions succeeded the vehicle control systems. This type of safety
systems consisted of Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning
Assistance, Brake Assistant and Side Assist. Route guidance systems assist
the driver to reach the destination, but those systems do not fall in one of
the foregoing categories. Further evolutionary developments of driver
assistance systems are systems warning the driver when the speed limit is
exceeded or intervene when the driver is fatigued. A recent development of a
driver assistance system in cars is the Parking Assist. The system takes
over the steering of the vehicle during parking.
In addition to the intelligent driver assistance systems, several
revolutionary systems are developed to fully automate cargo transport by
trucks. Most developments concerning fully automated truck systems, like the
following examples, are developed and tested but not implemented until now.
A group of industrial Partners in Europe started the CHAUFFEUR project to
develop an 'electronic towbar'. With the help of an infrared system trucks
were able to automatically follow a leading truck with a driver. This
results in a platoon of vehicles controlled by the driver in the leading
truck. Consequently the CHAUFFEUR system is not a fully automated system.
California PATH also developed a system for platooning truck operation, but
in contrast with the CHAUFFEUR project all trucks were fully automated. The
trucks are committed to a separated track and follow the track with the help
of a magnetic system.
Combi-Road and a fully automated highway between Calais and Bayonne were
also designed to use a separated track. The fully automated highway should
use truck platooning to decrease fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
Combi-Road had to transport containers between the Port of Rotterdam and an
inland terminal with fully automated vehicles towing the trailers to avoid
the congestions on the conventional road.
Japan developed the Dual Mode Truck to prevent safety, productivity and
congestion problems. The Dual Mode Truck is able to operate automatically on a
separated track and manually, with a driver, on the conventional road.
Finally the California Department of Transportation developed fully automated
maintenance trucks for inspection of the infrastructure and removing obstacles
on a fully automated highway.
Revolutionary fully automated systems are regularly used for passenger
transit. Mostly these systems consist of small vehicles for passenger
transit on a separated track. A couple of exceptions use larger vehicles
based on bus or tram design.
Several passenger transit systems were used at expositions to test the
system and evaluate people's responses. Examples are the Floriade CyberCab
and the Toyota IMTS bus. Similar systems are regularly used to move
passengers on airports or to business parks. The Véhicule Automatique
Léger (VAL) and the Phileas bus are more extensive passenger transit
systems. The VAL replaces part of the subway and is the world's largest
fully automated network with a total length of 45 kilometer.
Fully or partly automated road networks are designs to replace the
conventional road network. The Global Automated Transport System is designed
to replace the complete conventional road network. The Automated Transport
System and the Dualmode Transportation System leave parts of the built-up
areas conventional and replaces the highways with fully automated roads.
These revolutionary designs are difficult to implement and certainly have to
be further developed.
The intelligent driver assistance systems and fully automated vehicle systems
can be evaluated on the basis of the overview of evolutionary and revolutionary
developments of automated systems. Criteria for the evaluation are safety and
efficiency improvements and implementation issues. In general the evolutionary
developments are based on the improvement of safety, while the revolutionary
developments contain safety and efficiency improvements.
Evolutionary and revolutionary systems require technical developments.
Technical developments also contain testing and simulation to ensure
operation without failure. In addition mainly revolutionary developments
contain economic and policy and cooperation challenges. Conventional systems
are serious competitors due to large development and construction costs of
revolutionary systems. Fully automated vehicles are forbidden on the
conventional road and separated tracks need approval from government. Main
cause of these challenges is the radical change of most revolutionary
systems compared to conventional systems.
The future of the development of evolutionary and revolutionary systems can
be discussed based on the foregoing evaluation. The future developments for
evolutionary and revolutionary developments are different. Caused by the
implementation issues, the revolutionary, fully automated vehicle systems
continue to exist of pilot projects.
The evolutionary intelligent driver assistance systems on the other hand
continue evolving. Due to the continuing developments the intelligent driver
assistance systems will be able to control the vehicle's operation. In this
phase the driver still has the responsibility.
Eventually the implementation of fully automated vehicle systems will evolve
from the evolutionary developments. Gradually implementation of fully automated
vehicles will start when sufficient vehicles are capable to drive automatically.
Nevertheless these developments will take a lot of time.
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