Scania Introduces an Autonomous Loader Meant for the Mines
Kyle Maxey posted on October 15, 2019 |

Scania, the Swedish transportation firm, has revealed a working model of a cabless, autonomous heavy lift vehicle.

Named the Scania AXL, the new autonomous design bears a strong resemblance to mining equipment of old, save for the cleaving of the cab from the vehicle’s crown. In place of the passenger space, the AXL houses an intelligent module that commands the movements of the loader as it navigates in its native mining environment.

“We already have self-driving trucks in customer operations. However so far, they have been with room for a safety driver who can intervene if necessary. Scania AXL does not have a cab and that changes the game significantly,” says Claes Erixon, Head of Research and Development at Scania. “The development in self-driving vehicles has made great strides in the past years. We still don’t have all the answers, but through concept vehicles like Scania AXL we break new ground and continue to learn at great speed.”

While Scania’s engineers might not be autonomous engineering oracles, they have made an intelligent play by focusing their driverless product development on mining operations.

Mines, like many other industrial settings are built to streamline movement of goods from their raw to processed (and sometimes completed) state. As such, the task of developing an autonomous driving system was made easier by narrowing the number of unknown conditions that would present themselves to the AXL development model.

In the end, the constraint of a mining environment made it much easier to develop the technology necessary to launch the AXL, and put the Scania on firm footing to further expand their autonomous offerings.

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