TIER IV Advances Highway Trucking

TIER IV, a leader in open-source autonomous driving (AD) technology, has launched an initiative to enhance highway trucking through a new reference design, responding to the pressing driver shortage in Japan’s cargo industry. This innovative approach includes developing vital functionalities and conducting proof of concept (PoC) tests on public highways starting in fiscal year 2024. The goal is to equip commercial truck manufacturers with advanced tools to deploy autonomous driving technology effectively.

Key Highlights

  • New Reference Design: Incorporates Autoware core functionalities and advancements from partner collaborations.
  • Integration with driveblocks: Adds a redundant safety layer and alternative navigation paths through Mapless Autonomy Platform.
  • PoC Achievements: Demonstrated reliable perception and road modeling at speeds up to 100 kph under various conditions.
  • Future Focus: Continued development of robust object detection to ensure safe navigation in complex environments.

The upcoming reference design will merge Autoware’s essential features and new developments through partnerships, notably with the German start-up, driveblocks. Their technology enables autonomous platforms to navigate by perception rather than relying solely on high-definition (HD) maps. This integration is crucial, particularly for handling scenarios where HD maps might be unavailable or obsolete.

Recent PoC tests on a multi-lane test track in Japan showcased the effectiveness of this combined technology in simulated highway trucking scenarios. Furthermore, TIER IV and driveblocks have successfully conducted on-highway PoC tests, achieving reliable perception and accurate road modeling at high speeds and in challenging conditions, including GNSS-denied environments.

Moving forward, TIER IV aims to refine object detection technologies to enhance the safety and reliability of autonomous trucks, especially in scenarios involving diverse obstacles, such as merging vehicles and road debris.

Through its commitment to this initiative, TIER IV is set to significantly advance the deployment of autonomous driving solutions for highway trucking, promising enhanced operational safety and efficiency in the cargo transport sector.


TIER IV has been instrumental in developing Autoware, the world’s first open-source software for autonomous driving. As a founding member of The Autoware Foundation, the company leads in AD research and development, offering innovative solutions that span software and hardware to push forward intelligent vehicle technologies.

About driveblocks

driveblocks, established in December 2021 in Garching near Munich, specializes in automated and autonomous driving software for commercial vehicles. Leveraging a team with extensive experience in AD algorithm development, driveblocks utilizes Transformer Neural Networks and sensor fusion to innovate beyond traditional map-based systems, facilitating robust and scalable vehicle automation solutions.

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Self Drive News

Self Drive News is a premier B2B digital resource meticulously curated for industry professionals, stakeholders, and enthusiasts in the rapidly accelerating world of autonomous vehicles. Rooted in innovation and forward-thinking, we deliver insightful, reliable, and up-to-the-minute news, connecting the diverse and dynamic strands of the autonomous vehicle industry under one interactive platform.