• NATALIA SOUSA

Scania Autonomous trucks tested on Swedish highway in real traffic conditions.

The Swedish Transport Agency granted Scania permission to test self-driving trucks on the E4 motorway between Södertälje and Jönköping. The tests by Scania are part of a collaboration with TuSimple, which develops autonomous vehicles and a key partner in Scania's and TRATON group's investment in this field.



The trucks will enter commercial service with the Scania Transport Laboratory and carry goods for Scania's production operations. According to level 4 on the 5-point SAE scale for self-driving vehicles, the tests will cover technology, which means that the trucks are driven autonomously but for safety reasons are supervised by a driver. A test engineer will also be on board during Scania's tests to monitor and verify the information transmitted to the truck from the sensors that enable autonomous driving.

"In both the US and China, tests are already underway of trucks according to Level 4 on public roads, but as far as I know Scania is the first in Europe to test the technology on a motorway and with payload," says Hans Nordin, who is responsible for the Hub2hub project.

Later this year, Scania plans to expand the tests to cover the entire route between Södertälje and Helsingborg.

"In the coming years, we also expect to be able to test the technology in other European countries and in China," says Nordin.

Scania has been testing self-driving trucks for mining transportation in Australia since 2017.

"The experience gained from these tests shows that autonomous vehicles can become a reality in just a few years for transportation in closed areas such as mines and terminals," says Nordin.

According to Nordin, so-called Hub2hub transportation – driving on the motorway between reloading centres – is the first kind of transport on public roads where self-driving trucks can become a reality.

"We have come so far in the development of self-driving vehicles that the technology may be ready to be introduced to the market already within the next five years for this type of transportation. However, it will take longer before autonomous vehicles for driving on roads with two-way traffic and in urban environments becomes a reality," concludes Nordin.

Scania's partner TuSimple has carried out millions of kilometres of tests on motorways to develop the self-driving technology for automation level 4.