A breakthrough in autonomous truck technology has been achieved by a consortium including MAN Truck & Bus, Deutsche Bahn, Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, and Götting KG. Their research project, named “Autonomous Innovation in Terminal Operations” (ANITA), has successfully integrated autonomous trucks in container logistics, enhancing the efficiency of transferring goods between roads and railways.
Why It Matters
With up to a 40% improvement in efficiency and heightened process stability, this development could reshape the logistics landscape, making freight transport more predictable and adaptable. Furthermore, as industries worldwide confront driver shortages, autonomous solutions like ANITA present a promising way forward.
- ANITA’s Achievements: The project unveiled an autonomously operating truck capable of managing container shipments from road to rail, utilizing digital mission planning.
- Project Duration: ANITA was a three-year initiative supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. Out of these, six months were dedicated to hands-on testing at the DB Intermodal Services Container Depot and DUSS Container Terminal in Ulm.
- Integration with Existing Infrastructure: For seamless container handling, the ANITA truck communicates effectively with the infrastructure of the DB IS depot and the DUSS terminal. Experts from Fresenius University analyzed current on-site processes and developed a digital rule set. This incorporated Deon Digital’s Contract Specification Language (CSL), ensuring coherent communication across all systems.
- Universal Communication: ANITA’s solution is a universal interpreter, allowing the automated truck to navigate container handling procedures by communicating with various systems.
- Götting KG’s Contribution: Besides MAN’s involvement, Götting KG provided expertise in object location and environmental detection. This ensures the model’s applicability across other logistics hubs and scenarios.
ANITA’s successful demonstration paves the way for the broader adoption of autonomous trucks in logistics, promising increased efficiency, adaptability, and sustainability. The full project findings will be disclosed in an upcoming detailed report.