Volvo’s Japanese subsidiary has demonstrated a highly autonomous truck on the northern island of Hokkaido which travelled for around a mile without the involvement of a human driver.
Kyodo News reports that the UD Trucks test is the first Level 4 experiment using a large truck in Japan, performing all driving tasks without a driver, even in emergencies, in designated areas and routes.
It says the truckmaker teamed up with logistics firm Nippon Express and the Hokuren Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives to conduct the test as part of efforts to address a severe driver shortage. At the test site, the autonomous truck ran the distance, including around 200 yards on a public road around the factory, at a speed of 12 miles (20km) per hour.
The report adds that the heavy duty truck smoothly entered the factory site from the public road and went to a storage site for sugar beets before arriving at the factory where the material is processed.