IVECO, the esteemed commercial vehicle brand of Iveco Group, and Plus have announced that their jointly developed, autonomous IVECO S-Way truck, integrated with Plus’s cutting-edge PlusDrive solution, is now operational on public roads in Germany. This significant advancement follows a meticulous process of testing and validation that involved extensive closed-course examinations and comprehensive training for test drivers on the vehicle’s superior safety features.
Why It Matters
The application of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of trucking has the potential to revolutionize the industry by making it safer, easier, and more sustainable. Marco Liccardo, Chief Technology & Digital Officer at Iveco Group, noted that AI-based safety technology such as PlusDrive could help mitigate the risk of accidents, enhance fuel economy, improve driver retention, and alleviate the truck driver shortage that is prevalent across Europe. The data gathered during the public road testing phase will crucially set the stage for the future industrialization of driver-in automated trucks.
The IVECO S-Way truck, equipped with PlusDrive, boasts state-of-the-art AI-based autonomous driving software and an array of advanced sensors including lidars, radars, and cameras, providing drivers with an exceptional awareness of the vehicle’s surroundings. The public road testing phase will extend over the next few months, with further testing planned in Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland to gain valuable insights from the diverse roadways and driving conditions across these regions. PlusDrive’s capabilities include safe and automatic handling of driver-supervised maneuvers, such as lane centering, cut-ins, lane merges, and traffic jam assistance.
According to Shawn Kerrigan, COO and Co-founder at Plus, the rigorous efforts of the IVECO and Plus teams have culminated in this innovative solution reaching public roads for testing. With the PlusDrive system already in use by some of the world’s largest fleets for commercial freight delivery, the expansion of this commercial product to more fleets could exponentially increase its positive impact on the industry. This development underscores the companies’ commitment to enhancing road safety and sustainability, leading the charge in the evolution of the trucking industry.