MAN launches ANITA project for container handling

The truck manufacturer has conducted its first public test of its new autonomous vehicle project

MAN launches ANITA project for container handling
Members of the ANITA project

MAN is currently testing a new ANITA project designed to automate container handling between truck and rail, making it a more efficient process.

The truck manufacturing company conducted a mid-term review on the MAN test track for the project.

MAN put green test truck Bertha forward and observed how it worked as an autonomous truck designed to automate container handling processes.

In difficult conditions, MAN says the automated truck’s sensors identified obstacles scattered along the route while also recognising and ignoring reflects made on the wet test track.

The test went smoothly, with the safety driver in the cockpit not having to intervene and prevent the automated truck from a collision.

This first public drive of the autonomous truck formed part of MAN’s mid-term review of the ANITA (Autonomous Innovation in Terminal Operations) automation project that MAN is working on in conjunction with a German university of applied sciences.

Since July 2020 the partners have worked on the pilot project, which has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action to automate container handling between the transport modes of truck and rail.

Now, MAN wants to see the project take the next step towards automated hub-to-hub transport.

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MAN executive board member for research and development Dr Frederik Zohm says the group have had to add sensory organs to the automated truck.

"The basic automation technology for ANITA is ready," Zohm says.

"For fine-tuning, we are now going into direct comparison in practice to further develop the system."

But MAN says ANITA will first enter its second half, including further training at terminals and depots along with more test runs.

MAN says the test runs will last a year to gather further data and experience while developing the autonomous prototype.

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