Scania unveils autonomous cabless concept truck

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Scania recently unveiled a new concept for heavy self-driving vehicles; the AXL cabless truck.

Several Scania experts in various fields joined forces to develop the concept truck, which, even without the cab, has the company’s modular system at the heart of the design.

As different industries look to streamline transport assignments and make them more sustainable, self-driving vehicles are increasingly being considered. Mines and large closed construction sites are examples of environments that are advantageous for self-driving pilots since they are well-controlled locations.

The first live demo of the Scania AXL takes place at Traton Group’s Innovation Day on October 2 at Scania’s demonstration centre in Sweden.

“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.”

For autonomous vehicles, software is in many ways more important than the hardware.

Scania AXL is steered and monitored by an intelligent control environment. For example, in mines the autonomous operations are facilitated by a logistics system that tells the vehicle how it should perform.

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“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,” said Claes Erixon, head of research and development at Scania.

“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.”

The engine that powers the concept vehicle is an example of how traditional and new technology is mixed. The engine is powered by renewable biofuel.

The features and design behind Scania AXL match the tougher environments in mines and large construction sites. A new intelligent front module replaces the traditional cab, but even without a cab the concept is easily recognizable as a Scania.

Watch the Scania AXL in action here:

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