Volkswagen Truck and Bus gets ready for the electric, autonomus future

October 12, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At its Innovation Day in Hamburg, Volkswagen Truck & Bus was presenting pioneering technologies and products for the sustainable conversion of the entire logistics chain.

Volkswagen Truck & Bus bundles the resources of its brands in the development process to avoid duplication of work. The concept of lead engineering plays a central role in this process. Each brand is assigned responsibility for a joint development project.

Volkswagen Truck and Bus wants to take the road to an autonomous truck in the urban metropolitan area via a large number of steps: from the automated security vehicle in motorway construction sites to the autonomous dump truck in the mine, from the autonomously operating tractor in a port terminal to the platoon in long-distance traffic on the motorway. Platooning with vehicles of the MAN and Scania brands are being tested throughout Europe. With the help of slipstream driving, fuel consumption on the motorway can thus be significantly reduced. The risk of accidents decreases, the drivers of the following trucks have time for other activities, but can take control of the vehicle at any time. MAN, in cooperation with logistics company DB Schenker, will be testing the first platoons on the A9 digital test field between Munich and Nuremberg from spring 2018. Scania is participating in a platooning project in Singapore, where platoons are to be transported via public roads between two port terminals. Platooning is seen by VW as an entry into automated driving on public roads. The next step will be to make cross-brand truck convoy journeys possible. Scania and MAN are to develop common standards.