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Hyundai Completes Test Run with L3 Autonomous Truck

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【Summary】The test route spanned roughly 25 miles, on a busy highway from Uiwang to the Port of Incheon. Moreover, the trial required a special (temporary) driverless license from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT).

Michael Cheng    Aug 30, 2018 6:00 AM PT
Hyundai Completes Test Run with L3 Autonomous Truck

South Korea-based Hyundai Motors is developing autonomous platforms for different types of vehicles, including commercial trucks. In this space, the automaker is competing with Daimler, Dongfeng, Tata Motors and Hino Motors.

Earlier this month, Hyundai successfully completed a domestic test run using Xcient – the company's L3 autonomous semi-trailer truck. The demonstration showcased the capabilities of the automaker, which required a human operator to be present inside the truck during the trial.

Notable Achievements

Hyundai's test run is very significant, as the trip is considered to be the first national autonomous journey involving a semi-trailer truck. Moreover, the trial required a special (temporary) driverless license from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT). This was the first time the MOLIT issued this type of clearance for a truck.

The test route spanned roughly 25 miles, on a busy highway from Uiwang to the Port of Incheon. The trip lasted one hour and the autonomous truck traveled at a maximum speed of 56 mph, which was the speed limit for the selected expressway. During the journey, the self-driving vehicle was able to navigate safely around other cars and pass through various structures, such as tunnels.

"This successful demonstration proves that innovative autonomous driving technology can be used to transform the trade logistics industry," said Maik Ziegler, Ph.D., Director of Commercial Vehicle R&D Strategy Group at Hyundai Motor Company.

"At this stage, a human driver is still used to control the vehicle manually in certain situations, but I think we will achieve level 4 automation soon as we are constantly upgrading our technological capability."

For the self-driving trial, Hyundai developers equipped the truck with 10 cutting-edge sensors. A total of three forward-facing and three side cameras were installed at the back of the unit, as well as two radar components (front and rear of the vehicle) and three LIDAR systems (front and side of the truck).

A separate hitch-angle sensor was also setup to monitor movements between the truck and trailer. Data gathered by the external sensors were combined with an HD map for local navigation.

Hyundai Glovis and Mobis

Hyundai Glovis, the automaker's trade and logistics arm, played an important role in the trials. The company specializes in bulk and parts logistics, shipping and land-based transportation of raw materials, with anchored presence in the global auto sector. Hyundai Glovis participated in the autonomous trucking trial, as it oversaw efficient applications and plans for implementation of driverless trucks for its logistics operations during the event. The company's contributions for the trial also included the selection of the test route.

"The company will be a leader in adopting future mobility technology like autonomous driving for the trade logistics industry," explained Sang-Sok Suh, Ph.D., Head of Strategy and Planning Group at Hyundai Glovis.

Hyundai Mobis, the car manufacturer's auto parts and services arm, developed the robust steering control system used during the autonomous journey. Called Motor Assist Hydraulic Steering (MAHS), the steering platform relies on an electronic control unit for accurate control and navigation.

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