Self-Driving Construction Truck Lands On-Site

The world’s first self-driving construction vehicle is about to be rolled out by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDoT).

Dubbed the Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (APIV), it has been developed by the CDoT in cooperation with truck manufacturer Royal Truck & Equipment. It operates as part of a leader-follower system and aims to absorb any impacts that occur to convoys as it follows a lead vehicle.

CDoT executive director Michael P Lewis claimed follower vehicles in construction convoys have been hit by public vehicles 26 times over the last four years. He then said the introduction of self-driving construction vehicles would reduce the number of instances where drivers of follower vehicles suffered accidents.

The vehicle’s operating system was originally developed by military contractor Kratos Defense & Security Solutions. It incorporates computers, a compass, GPS receivers and a transceiver, with the aim of automatically adjusting the follower vehicle’s direction and speed in order to keep pace with the lead vehicle and remain a safe distance from it.

Colas, which collaborated with Kratos on the system, claims it operates as follows: “Navigation data that includes vehicle speed and heading is transmitted from the leader vehicle to the follower vehicle enabling the follower vehicle to use the data to follow the exact path and speed of the leader vehicle at each point along the route.”


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