Driverless Trucks to Start Work With PSA

PSA Group will start using driverless vehicles to carry out logistics duties at its production headquarters in France.

In a collaboration with autonomous vehicle specialist EasyMile, PSA has trialed a driverless tow truck at its historic plant in Sochaux. The truck, called TractEasy, is a driverless tow tractor with a maximum towing capacity of 25 metric tonnes (55,115 lbs) and the ability to drive among other vehicles at speeds of up to 15mph.

At the moment the vehicle operates at the factory’s speed limit of 9mph on a 1.8 mile circuit and makes round trips between the supplier industrial park and the assembly shop. Following a successful trial, a “connected” road will be built this autumn to take testing a step further enabling the vehicle to communicate with road infrastructure, such as traffic lights, doors and a level crossing.

PSA plans to operate two autonomous tow tractors in the first quarter of 2019 operating in shifts 24/7 to deliver parts from the supplier industrial park to the Peugeot 3008 assembly line. Ultimately, they will be used to deliver all of the parts used to build the Peugeot 308 and 3008, including the bumpers, tailgate and consoles. The plant produces 2,100 vehicles every day in the Peugeot 308, 3008 and Opel Grandland X line-ups.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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