AUTONOMY KICKS UP SOME DUST
Commercial Vehicle|September 2021
Machines that move, haul and plough earth can capitalise on autonomous systems today via increased safety and productivity in the field and significant cost savings writes Ryan Gehm.
Ryan Gehm

Autonomous operation for on-highway commercial vehicles has grabbed headlines and public attention, rightfully so since these haulers increasingly will share the roads with passenger vehicles. But there is a lot of interesting new core work occurring in the off-highway autonomy space as well, according to Brendan Chan, Chief Engineer of unmanned systems and active safety at Oshkosh Corp. “There’s the hub-to-hub stuff that everyone’s been talking about. There’s also a lot of geofences, low-speed applications where autonomy could be very useful and a very good value,” Chan said at the 2020 SAE COMVEC Digital Summit. Vehicles for yard manoeuvring is one such application. Mining and agriculture are two off-highway sectors where automated systems have proven effective and adoption is growing. Controlled environments and private property where regulations are less restrictive are driving factors. “The military is interested in autonomous systems as well, primarily as force multipliers and for occupant safety,” said Chan. “There is quite a lot of synergy in the autonomy space although the application may be different. It all boils down to the use case and the operational design domain,” he added.

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