MAN accelerates development of driverless trucks

New development partnership with Plus aims for real-life use of autonomous trucks in hub-to-hub transport.

MAN autonomous truck
MAN accelerates development of driverless trucks: New development partnership with Plus aims for real-life use of autonomous trucks in hub-to-hub transport.

MAN Truck & Bus continues to drive forward the development of driverless transport between logistics hubs. The technology has the potential to reduce fatigue accidents, alleviate the increasing shortage of drivers and make transport processes even more efficient and environmentally friendly. In order to further intensify the development towards real-life logistics applications, MAN agreed to a collaboration with the US specialist for automated driving systems Plus. This is part of an overarching development partnership for autonomous driving between MAN parent company TRATON and Plus, which includes as well other brands of the TRATON GROUP.

"In the application-oriented development of autonomous trucks, project partnerships with logistics users, infrastructure operators and technology specialists are essential for MAN. With Plus, we have gained a proven specialist for automated driving systems in commercial vehicle applications as a partner. The aim is to increasingly integrate driverless driving with practical projects in concrete hub-to-hub logistics transport and thus accelerate the series introduction of autonomous driving systems," says Lukas Walter, Head of Sales Truck at MAN Truck & Bus SE.

“We are excited to leverage our industry-leading autonomous driving software and deployment experience to accelerate the global commercialization of driverless trucks with MAN. Through our combined expertise, we will bring to market safer, more efficient and more sustainable transportation solutions. This will transform how freight is moved,” adds Shawn Kerrigan, COO and CO-Founder of Plus.

MAN has been advancing autonomous driving for many years with various research and development projects. From 2018 to 2020, MAN developed and tested a driverless truck in container handling on the premises of the Port of Hamburg in a joint research and development project with Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG. From 2019 to 2023, the ANITA project with partners Deutsche Bahn, Hochschule Fresenius, University of Applied Sciences, and Götting KG focused on the complete digital integration of an autonomous truck into the logistics process of container handling from road to rail. And since 2022, MAN has been working with twelve partners from industry, science, technical testing and road operations in the ATLAS-L4 project to develop an autonomous truck for use in motorway transport between logistics hubs.

The project thus specifically addresses the law on autonomous driving passed in Germany in 2021, which already allows driverless driving on defined routes with technical supervision. Practical test drives of the prototype with a safety driver on the motorway are planned for the end of the project. From 2025 onwards, further projects in specific customer transport applications will drive development towards series application.

About Plus

Plus is a global provider of autonomous driving software solutions that span driver-in next generation safety systems to highly automated PlusDrive and driver-out SuperDriveTM. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, California with operations in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, Plus is named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Startup Employers and by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. Plus’s Open Platform for Autonomy is already powering vehicles in commercial use today. Partners including Bosch, dm-drogerie markt, DSV, IVECO, Luminar, Nikola, Scania / MAN / Navistar of the TRATON GROUP, and Transurban are working with Plus to accelerate next-generation transportation solutions.