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Aurora Showcase Autonomous Truck at Paccar, CES2022

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Las Vegas — Paccar Inc. and autonomous driving technology company Aurora exhibited one of their autonomous trucks at CES 2022 on January 6th.

The Peterbilt Model 579 was equipped with Aurora sensors and cameras to assist the internal computing system responsible for autonomous functions.

“This is the truck we use,” Aurora’s self-driving car operator Gabrielle Olivas told Transport Topics. “This is from Texas. I’m using this model on the highway. There are some lidars, radars and cameras that I use to see around the vehicle 360 ​​degrees. I can see 400 meters. With all the cameras. LIDAR is together so you can see the same thing. “


Olivas is responsible for riding the truck with the driver and monitoring the screen showing what the equipment and sensors are looking at. They are in constant contact while on the go, both of which can disengage autonomy and return to manual driving.

“Safety is our number one priority,” Olives said. “We are always talking about everything that is displayed on the screen. Every driver has at least 3 years of experience and knows what he is doing.”

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Cameras and sensors are located on the top, sides and front of the cab. The front LIDAR has the longest distance and facilitates highway travel. Detects real-time changes such as traffic patterns and pedestrians. This information is combined with a mapped view that contains additional information from previous trips.

“We do the mapping internally because we want it to be very accurate,” says Olivas. “Every map has small tiles. Let’s say something happens in the construction. You can annotate and send it to the mapping team. The mapping team looks back at the camera feed and lidar feed and changes the road. I can.”

Paccar and Aurora formed a strategic partnership in January last year to develop autonomous trucks. The Peterbilt truck used has undergone extensive real-world testing and driving demonstrations. Travel is primarily focused on highway travel, mostly between Dallas and Houston.

“We are now really focused on these long hauls,” Olivas said. “We can also do some service streets. It’s part of the demo route so that you can make a full four-way stop on the truck. So go up to the stop sign and fast You can make a U-turn under the road and ride again. “

Nowadays, trucks are deployed for commercial use. They began loading and unloading FedEx Corp. as part of the partnership announced on September 22nd. Uber Freight signed a similar agreement on December 15th.

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“We’ve done that in fact well over the past few months,” Olivas said. “We have ensured that we carry cargo there at a 100% on-time rate.”

Olivas has seen how trucks handle a variety of scenarios, from stop-and-go traffic to huge lineups. She was also on board during the longest trip the truck made, without disrupting the autonomous system.

“I was actually in a taxi on a mission to take the fleet to FedEx,” Olivas said. “Between our Palmer Hub and where we stopped at the gas station, it was over 200 miles with uninterrupted autonomy.”

The Peterbilt 579 on display is considered a Level 3 autonomous truck. Level 1 is defined by including a single automated system for driver assistance. Level 5 is the highest class and does not require human attention. Level 3 vehicles operate in certain situations and have environment detection capabilities, but humans must override the system if necessary.

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“Now we’re in L3 and we’re aiming for L4,” Olives said. “We’re about to get the drivers off the truck by the end of next year. It’s a long way to go, but since I worked for the company, they’ve made great strides.”

Level 4 means that the truck’s autonomous system can intervene in the event of a system failure. This will be a major step towards completely eliminating drivers and technicians from the truck. But beyond the technical side, there are many legal and political hurdles.

“People need to be okay with that,” Olives said. “They need to support and trust that the technology we are doing does not endanger them or endanger their loved ones, so we talk to the media and we We keep it transparent so that people can feel comfortable by showing more of what they are doing. “

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Aurora Showcase Autonomous Truck at Paccar, CES2022 Aurora Showcase Autonomous Truck at Paccar, CES2022

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