With an automated street cleaning vehicle, the partners of the AMZ-led Saxon-American TADA project have set a milestone for automated driving. They will be presenting the self-propelled sweeper at the ADAS Experience on the 26th/27th. September 2023 at the DEKRA Lausitzring.
Street cleaning vehicles travel at low speeds and on defined routes. Due to these characteristics and against the background of a growing shortage of personnel, the use of self-propelled sweepers is an option here. Saxon and US companies have developed such a vehicle in the “Transatlantic Automated Driving Alliance” (TADA). The consortium leadership of the project, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was in the hands of the Saxon automotive supplier network AMZ.
At the ADAS Experience on September 26/27, 2023 at the DEKRA Lausitzring, the sweeper could be experienced in a practical test. At this conference on assisted and automated driving, the TADA partners also celebrated the successful completion of the project.
Future field of automated driving is an integral part of AMZ work
Driving forward developments in automated driving has been an integral part of the AMZ network work for around ten years. By setting up an automated sweeper in the transatlantic alliance, the actors have set another milestone. The Saxon partners in this project were the sweeper manufacturer FAUN Viatec from Grimma and the experts for sensor data fusion and vehicle localization FusionSystems and NAVENTIK from Chemnitz. On the American side, the New Eagle company and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) took part. The implementation took place over the past three years “despite many pandemic-related difficulties,” as AMZ project manager Thomas Keltsch emphasizes. But all partners on both sides of the Atlantic mastered this with outstanding flexibility and improvisation.
Automation of driving and sweeping functions
A fundamental challenge was the complex development approach. It included – where accessible – vehicle manufacturer structures, but also required its own parallel structures and in-house developments. At its core, the technology carrier consists of an OEM standard chassis that is suitable for conversion and planned adjustments. The actuators were implemented through access to the vehicle bus system and reengineering solutions. This will allow the standard driving function to be carried out in the future. The challenges here are the low speed and precise tracking. They are to be ensured through a perfect interaction of the components: location and positioning, steering with display of the steering angle and corrections while driving.
In addition to the driving functions, the focus was also on the automation of the sweeping system. It must recognize different types of dirt and react flexibly and reliably with the components broom, water and suction shaft.
Revolutionize the market for large sweepers
The result is a proven functionary. In terms of functionality, it has all the approaches needed for driverless operation of a sweeper on enclosed areas. At the same time, it has the potential to revolutionize the market for street cleaning with large-scale sweepers when further developed into a product.
Defuse dangerous situations at intersections
Another TADA project called Crossroad Assistant focuses on the safety of non-motorized road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. For this purpose, major intersections in Saxony were examined and accidents and their frequencies involving cyclists caused by vehicles turning right were analyzed. FusionSystems, dresden elektronik and AMZ from Saxony as well as the US partners Trillium, Derq and MEDC are working together on this project. They conducted traffic observations over several months on the routes and distances traveled by road users using state-of-the-art camera technology in order to obtain detailed information on dangerous traffic situations. On this basis, predictive warning scenarios should be developed. Tests are also planned for this project at the Lausitzring.
Gain added value for Saxony
AMZ has built up further expertise in automated and connected mobility through international collaboration in the TADA projects. The fact that there are corresponding inquiries about products from the market speaks for its success. “With our partners in this future field of mobility, we are working on developing new standards as well as tracking and using trends in order to create added value for Saxony,” AMZ project manager Thomas Keltsch underlines the further goals.