- Hyundai Motor successfully demonstrates level 3 autonomous truck driving in 40km real road cargo delivery journey
- Hyundai continues to focus on developing fully autonomous trucks with plans to commercialize autonomous convoy driving capability by 2020s
- Hyundai Glovis to play crucial role in implementing Hyundai's advanced autonomous technology into logistics business
This successful demonstration proves that innovative autonomous driving technology can be used to transform the trade logistics industry. At this stage, a human driver is still used to control the vehicle manually in certain situations, but I think we will achieve level 4 automation soon as we are constantly upgrading our technological capability.
For the demonstration the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) issued a temporary autonomous driving license for the first time to a heavy-duty truck. Hyundai Motor, in cooperation with its trade subsidiary Hyundai Glovis, utilized this opportunity to test the application of autonomous driving for use in the trade logistics industry.
The Test Route
The test route is Hyundai Glovis’s parts transportation most frequently travelled section for vehicles heading to the Port of Incheon. This includes 40km in total of automobile highway. The truck successfully completed the journey, travelling 40km in 1 hour, whilst abiding strictly to the expressway speed limit of 90km/h.
Hyundai Motor is planning to undertake further autonomous navigation technology tests in future in a variety of areas like Busan, and plans to concentrate on its enterprise development capabilities with the aim of early commercialization of the technology.
Autonomous Truck Technology
Expressways headed toward the Port of Incheon display heavy traffic even during weekdays, due to a high quantity of goods being exported. Therefore the vehicle’s autonomous technology and know-how had to be sufficient enough to adapt to unprecedented situations throughout the journey.
In addition, the semi-trailer truck is approximately 3.5 times longer, 1.4 times wider, and 9.2 times heavier than the average compact sedan, when comparing to an empty truck’s weight. This requires an advanced and detailed autonomous navigation system. Accordingly, Hyundai Motor equipped sensors similar to the ones featured in autonomous sedans, and additional sensors optimized for heavy-duty trucks, like a hitch angle sensor and trailer rear radar sensor.
10 different sensors, including 3 front and side-rear cameras, 2 frontal and rear radars, 3 Lidars in the front and sides, and a hitch angle sensor in the trailer coupler which computes the change in angle between the truck and trailer in real-time, allowing the truck to be safely stabilized upon sharp turns.
The data collected by each sensor collaborates with the HD map and sends information to the electronic control module for localization. The module makes accurate decisions for each situation, controlling the speed, steering, and breaking accordingly.
A new steering control system (MAHS : Motor Assist Hydraulic Steering) developed by Hyundai Mobis was also implemented, providing a precise steering mechanism that controls the steering angle depending on the decision made by the electronic control unit. This minimizes the effort required to steer the vehicle, reducing driver fatigue.
Trade Logistics Industry Innovation
The introduction of the autonomous truck to trade logistics is predicted to instigate ground-breaking change in the industry, which is ridding itself of its traditional industrial image by integrating innovative technology like autonomous navigation, IoT, and mobility technology to reform as a state of the art technology industry.
Autonomous trucks maximize efficiency by maintaining the most efficient speed and velocity, reducing fuel costs, which make up one third of long distance delivery costs, and thereby lowering the vehicles carbon footprint.
Hyundai Glovis’ success in utilising self-driving trucks as part of its delivery service proves that the self-driving technology is being utilized in actual logistics transport and can lead to mutual development. The company will be a leader in adopting future mobility technology like autonomous driving for the trade logistics industry.
According to the Korean National Police Agency traffic accident statistics, trucks are involved in 10.8% of accidents each year, which is second to private vehicles at 53.0%. Also, the potential threat of a severe accident is relatively higher when a truck is involved in a collision, with a fatality rate of 3.7% versus 1.9% non-truck involved accidents.
The number of casualties from truck accidents is increasing every year. Truck drivers often travel long-distance overnight, which can cause sleep deprivation resulting in dangerous driving. Autonomous technology implemented into commercial trucks is expected to reduce this.
Hyundai Motor is actively working to prevent accidents and minimize related damage by implementing next-generation driver assistant systems into large-sized trucks and buses currently being sold in the market.
The company offers options such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) in its Xcient model, and applied FCA and LDW as default options in all models of Hyundai Universe.
Hyundai Motor previously succeeded in level 4 autonomous driving with Ioniq vehicles in downtown Las Vegas last year, and completed a 190kms journey from Seoul to Pyeongchang with level 4 autonomously driven hydrogen electric NEXO and Genesis G80 vehicles during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.