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The future of freight transport:

MAN and HHLA pioneer Logistics 4.0 with the autonomous Hamburg TruckPilot

MAN Truck & Bus and Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) have successfully completed the joint project Hamburg TruckPilot, setting a milestone in automated container transport. Autonomous driving has the potential to make freight transport safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

“Pilot projects like Hamburg TruckPilot prove that the use of self-driving trucks is technologically feasible and can be efficiently integrated into logistics processes. Autonomous driving will be a game changer in transportation. In close cooperation with customers and partners, we are testing practical automation solutions with the aim of getting self-driving trucks ready for series production from 2030", says Dr. Frederik Zohm, MAN Board Member for Research and Development, on the project results that MAN Truck & Bus presented together with HHLA at the ITS World Congress 2021 on October 13 in Hamburg.

HHLA CEO Angela Titzrath emphasized at the press conference that the cooperation with MAN is an important and necessary step in shaping the future of freight transport: “Autonomous driving is coming! We at HHLA are preparing for this. Logistics 4.0 offers opportunities on a global scale. To use them, we have to be open to change and show the courage to change. Autonomous driving and Hamburg TruckPilot are good examples of transformative processes that we want to actively shape. "

Hamburg TruckPilot: pioneering work through cooperation
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, 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.

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."

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