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2022 / 2023 Edition

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Off-highway industry leaders partner on autonomy

Ammann

Cross-market collaborative cluster aims to bring more automation to off-highway equipment

AMMANN, Palfinger, Prinoth, Rosenbauer, and TTControl are to collaborate on application-oriented solutions as part of a newly initiated Autonomous Operation Cluster (AOC). The multinational companies will jointly develop key technologies for autonomous operation elements for series production of mobile machinery functions and off-highway vehicles.

The aim of the collaboration is to accelerate the development of advanced assistance functions to ease operators’ jobs and increase productivity, efficiency, and safety in a wide range of industries around the globe.

The AOC will address trends such as smart and autonomous operation of road construction equipment and other specialized off-highway equipment applications where computer vision- and artificial intelligence-based solutions will allow precise detection of objects and processing of information from the surrounding environment.

The resulting automated machine functions will support the operator, for example, by warning them of potentially dangerous situations and acting autonomously within clearly defined limits. Machine operators will be able to perform tasks more intuitively, quickly, and safely.

The most important benefit of the cross-industry collaboration is the reduced development time by knowledge sharing. Each of the partner companies will contribute decades of expertise from their respective fields to bring cutting-edge solutions to production.

Industry-specific technological challenges will be addressed by a dedicated developer community consisting of experts from all partners. As an enabler for autonomous operation functions, the AOC will focus on three development areas: robust hardware platforms, modular software components, and customized application functions.

In the current year, the partners of the AOC will define a technological solution and develop a proof of concept and initial prototypes. Further application implementation based on specific use cases will continue in 2023.

‘This technology will bring incredible value to the road-building process,’ said Tomas Kopic, executive vice-president of Ammann’s Heavy Equipment division. ‘There will be improvements in quality, and job sites will be safer, too. The efficiency gains provided by the technology will improve sustainability – and the profitability of our customers.’

Roberto Ferrari, senior vice-president of service and operations at TTControl, added: ‘Together, we will lay the foundation for the next generation of automation and autonomy capabilities in the mobile machinery and off-highway industries.

‘TTControl will support this ground-breaking endeavour with their advanced knowledge of electronic architectures and expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. With the synergies from this collaboration, we will develop essential building blocks for autonomous vehicles and mobile machinery that will significantly improve the productivity and safety of future off-highway solutions.’

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