Published on March 29, 2022.

ATLAS-L4: Funding project for autonomous trucks

Munich, March 29, 2022

MAN Truck & Bus, Knorr-Bremse, Leoni and Bosch are joining forces for greater safety, flexibility and efficiency in logistics. Together with automated logistics provider Fernride and test tool manufacturer BTC Embedded Systems, they aim to have autonomously driving trucks on the highway for the first time by the middle of this decade in the ATLAS-L4 project. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Technical University of Braunschweig are providing scientific support for the project, while TÜV SÜD and Autobahn GmbH are contributing their expertise with regard to practical feasibility and the approval process.

The ATLAS-L4 (Automated Transport between Logistics centres on highways, Level 4) research and development project combines expertise from industry, scientific research and infrastructure operators in hitherto unique ways to create an integrated approach to the operation of autonomous vehicles on public motorways and highways. ATLAS-L4 intends to demonstrate that the use of Level-4 automated and thus driverless vehicles on the highway is feasible, laying the foundation for innovative transport and logistics concepts. The project makes direct use of the new opportunities opened up by the legislation on autonomous driving passed in 2021, in which Germany is set to hold a worldwide pioneering position. In this way, ATLAS-L4 contributes both to the future-proof design of road freight transport and to strengthening Germany as a business location.

With ATLAS-L4, those involved in the project are taking a huge step towards making autonomous commercial vehicles a reality. By the middle of the decade, a concept for the operation of automated trucks on the highway that can be transferred to industrialization should be available. Each partner brings its own expertise to the development of the driverless prototype truck.

Please read the full press release on https://press.mantruckandbus.com/corporate/atlas-l4-funding-project-self-driving-from-hub-to-huben/ 

Project partners and roles

Commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus is responsible for overall system development and the integration of all components into the vehicle. The transmission of data to the vehicle and commissioning of the control centre that will provide the technical monitoring of the test runs as specified in the legislation on self-driving vehicles are also MAN’s responsibility.

Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking systems, is developing a special, redundant braking system architecture which will enable trucks with Level-4-autonomy to operate safely in any situation.

Project partner Leoni’s task is to ensure that both the on-board network and the electronic cable distribution for the automation system always work reliably, regardless of any possible faults that may occur.

Bosch Automotive Steering is developing an error-tolerant steering system for ATLAS-L4 that meets all the requirements of SAE-Level-4-automation.

Munich-based start-up Fernride is researching teleoperation possibilities in the hub-to-hub-scenario addressed by the project. With Fernride’s Page 3/6 teleoperations platform, autonomous vehicles can be monitored and controlled remotely if necessary.

The test tool manufacturer BTC Embedded Systems AG concentrates on scenario-based and simulated test procedures for whole-vehicle verification and safety validation, paying special attention to critical driving situations.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC is developing methods for security risk analyses within the project, specially tailored to the field of automated trucks.

The TUM Institute of Automotive Technology is contributing its expertise in a variety of aspects of driving dynamics and developing interaction concepts for technical supervision. The Institute of Control Engineering at the TU Braunschweig is developing concepts for the safe operation of Level-4-trucks and the technical selfawareness of automated vehicles.

TÜV SÜD will bring its extensive experience of test environments for automated vehicles to the project test runs, examining the capabilities of the vehicles themselves and the validity of the simulations and evaluating the safety of the vehicles in this sponsorship project as part of the approval process.

With the introduction of its first cooperative “roadworks warning” service, Autobahn GmbH has laid the foundations for the networked and automated traffic system of the future and contributes its experience regarding the requirements for automated driving to the ATLAS-L4 project from the roads operator’s point of view.