Meet with “Level 4 Highway Pilot” in Autonomous Transport!

Otoyol Pilot

We have carried out and successfully completed testings of the Platooning-Autonomous Convoy studies together with AVL and now we are working on a brand new project: Level 4 Highway Pilot. Trucks will be able to carry out transportation activities autonomously between H2H (hub-to-hub) logistics centers thanks to this technology that we are developing to be used in highway transportation. Therefore, trucks being the most important players of the transportation industry; will offer much safer, faster, and cheaper, environmentally friendly, and most importantly, much more reliable transportation.

In the long run, our most important goal in our efforts to develop Level 4 Highway Pilot, which we expect to provide a more efficient and safer transportation solution when compared to today's transportation; is to be able to drive autonomously as good as a vehicle driven by manpower and even safer. In line with this goal, we develop algorithms to ensure safe driving in various weather, traffic, and road conditions, and we test these algorithms with the data collected during a real driving experience both in the virtual environment and on real trucks.

Within the scope of the project, we are primarily working on more frequent traffic scenarios with our business partner AVL. We are planning to gradually increase the complexity of the scenarios as the project progresses. Equipped with the best in its class lidar, radar, camera sensors, and mission panels; two International Truck of the Year award-winning Ford Trucks F-MAX's have already begun collecting data on the way between Germany and Turkey! We will use the data collected during real drives to train and test an artificial intelligence (AI) based detection and decision-making algorithms, and we will successfully offer the use of this technology.

While the engineering teams of AVL in Regensburg and Istanbul contribute to the project with their extensive knowledge and experience in software development; we will add strength to the project with our expertise in developing Autonomous Driving Systems and Driver Assistance Systems for heavy commercial vehicles. In order for the necessary algorithms that we have determined for the Level 4 Highway Pilot to function; to achieve the highest level of maturity and safety of autonomous driving features, we will apply innovative and systematic validation methodologies with our advanced engineering approach.

Burak Gökçelik, our Assistant General Manager of Product Development introduced this project which we are planning to promote in the first half of 2021 with the following statements: "In this second phase of our R&D cooperation, we aiming to develop and test Level 4 Autonomous Trucks to be used on highways for autonomous transport between logistics centers. By automating a significant portion of heavy commercial transport traveling on highways, our Ford Trucks will offer safer, faster, cheaper, environmentally friendly, and reliable transport. It will create value for fleet owners, drivers, customers, and the community.” 

Emphasizing the potential of autonomous transportation between logistics centers AVL Executive Board Member and Vice President Rolf Dreisbach summarised his approach to the project: “With the autonomization of transportation activities between logistics centers, it is aimed to achieve a reduction of up to 30% in operating costs and to significantly reduce the number of accidents involving trucks. With its power in technological development and with the innovative approaches of AVL, we would like to support our customers in their commissioning of Autonomous Driving solutions in order for them to be in the best position in their sector.”