In a milestone move for terminal automation, MAN Truck & Bus and Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) have successfully completed a joint project - Hamburg TruckPilot – intended to demonstrate the feasibility of self-driving vehicles in terminals.
“Pilot projects like Hamburg TruckPilot prove that the use of self-driving trucks is technologically feasible and can be efficiently integrated into logistics processes,” said Dr Frederik Zohm, MAN board member for research and development. “Autonomous driving will be a game changer in transportation. In close cooperation with customers and partners, we are testing practical automation solutions with the aim of getting self-driving trucks ready for series production from 2030,” he added.
The objective of the three-year project, which was also part of a strategic mobility partnership between the City of Hamburg and Volkswagen AG, was the development and practical testing of an autonomous truck for container handling at the HHLA, said HHLA CEO Angela Titzrath.
During the practical trips, logistics partner, Spedition Jakob Weets from Emden, first transported 40-foot containers controlled by a driver on behalf of Volkswagen Group Logistics to the CTA terminal in the port. There, the truck drove autonomously across the terminal area and moved smoothly in mixed traffic with other road users. It drove to its destination in the block storage lane and also manoeuvred itself backwards with high precision into the parking position. After container handling, the return journey to the check gate was just as autonomous, and beyond the terminal grounds, the driver of the Jakob Weets haulage company once again took full command.