HHLA - Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG

10/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2021 05:05

The future of freight transport

MAN Truck & Bus and Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG successfully completed the "Hamburg TruckPilot" project in summer 2021. The objective of the three-year project, which was also part of the strategic mobility partnership between the City of Hamburg and Volkswagen AG, included the development and practical testing of an autonomous truck in container handling at the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA). During the practical trips, the logistics partner, Spedition Jakob Weets e.K. from Emden, first transported 40-foot containers controlled by a driver on behalf of Volkswagen Group Logistics to the CTA terminal in the Port of Hamburg. 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 e.K. haulage company once again took full command.

Till Schlumberger, project manager at HHLA responsible for Hamburg TruckPilot, made it clear what a pioneering technological achievement the successful test run was: "With its highly automated processes, HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder is the ideal test environment for trying out promising technologies. Our facilities operate 24/7 around the clock, 360 days a year. However, the safe integration of autonomous trucks into the terminal processes is a major challenge, because autonomous and classic transports are intermingled. With Hamburg TruckPilot, we were able to show that this application is possible and promising in practice."

Sebastian Völl, Project Manager Hamburg TruckPilot at MAN Truck & Bus, is very satisfied with the results of the practical tests in the Port of Hamburg, "Hamburg TruckPilot was an important milestone for us on the road to autonomous driving. When our prototype manoeuvred independently into a block storage lane for the first time, we saw that it worked and that we can meet the high accuracy requirements. And even driving across the terminal site with many other manually controlled trucks, sensor technology, environment detection and automation systems have mastered the interaction perfectly. When the first container with a real load lifted off the chassis during the practical drives, I was super proud of the entire team! We can build on this experience for future projects."

Likewise, with a view to autonomous driving between different logistics hubs in hub-to-hub traffic, the partners already collected valuable data on the manual feeder trips on the A7 between the Weets Container Terminal Soltau and the port area 70 kilometres away. Further-reaching projects with practical drives on public roads will also benefit from this. Such practical tests, which are always accompanied by safety drivers, will also be possible outside closed areas thanks to the law on autonomous driving in Germany.