Trucking industry seeks to avoid ‘robot apocalypse’
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The global truck driver shortage could soon be alleviated by the imminent usage of autonomous vehicles.
They have already become a reality in Australian mining, but now port operator PSA is to check out the benefits in Singapore.
As reported in Container Management, PSA and Singapore’s Ministry of Transport have signed an agreement with Scania and Toyota for the design, development and trial of an autonomous truck platooning system.
The trials will involve transport of containers between the port’s terminals, with a human-driven truck leading a convoy of driverless trucks.
The port and Singapore itself have been seeking ways to tackle a manpower shortage and shift more movement of freight to nights to reduce traffic congestion.
The trials will take place in two phases over three years to December 2019, with the first, year-long phase focusing on design, testing and improvement of truck platooning technology to adapt to local conditions.
This first stage will be conducted by Scania and Toyota in their respective research centres in Sweden and Japan, with the ministry and PSA selecting one of the two companies to conduct local trials and some development of the technology in Singapore.