The Autonomous Innovation in Terminal Operations (ANITA) project provides for the development of a fully automated truck that should be tested in real-world logistics operations at the DUSS terminal in Ulm. Combined transport – an intermodal combination of road, rail and / or water transport – is one of the fastest growing markets in the entire freight transport industry. The ANITA project is another important building block on the road to automating the entire transport process. This allows more flexible distribution of cars and drivers.
Project partners are MAN Truck & Bus SE, Deutsche Bahn AG, Götting KG and Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Sciences. The project is financed (in the amount of about 5.5 million euros) under the program “New vehicles and system technologies” of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy of Germany, with a implementation period of 39 months.
A fully automated truck will be operated at the Ulm Dornstadt site. It will move automatically within the DB Intermodal Services container depot and DUSS terminal. The Safety Driver MAN will always be on board during trials. The digital infrastructure and all necessary interfaces will first be installed on site. Experienced crane operators will be hired to work with containers to ensure that all operations are verified under real-world conditions.
Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, Member of the Board of Directors, DB Freight: “Combined transport is the key to successful decarburization of vehicles. The client gets access to rail transportation through the transshipment terminals, so it is important that we offer efficient and innovative processes here. Containers need to be processed faster and more flexibly. To do this, we use digitalization, as in the ANITA project: trucks with automatic control in the terminal are the first important step to “Terminal 4.0”.
MAN Truck & Bus SE is developing a vehicle for the project: “Together with our partners we will gain valuable experience working with autonomous vehicles for handling containers at the terminal. Following our already very successful Platooning project with DB Schenker AG and Fresenius University, ANITA is the next important step towards automated driving – this is another milestone in our MAN Automation Roadmap, ”says Dr. Frederic Som, Member of the Research and Development Board MAN Truck & Bus.
Götting KG will develop algorithms for locating a vehicle and detecting obstacles. Hans-Heinrich Götting, CEO of Götting KG: “The ANITA project must improve our ability to define the environment to a whole new level, as we strive to achieve complete automation. Collaboration with key partners in the real world is extremely important for Götting KG. ”
To ensure successful communication between the truck and the container terminal, the behavior of people and vehicles at the terminal site will be analyzed first so that it can be converted into digital processes and rules. The University of Applied Sciences of Fresenius will deal with this:
“We have a tradition of analyzing processes in complex systems,” said Prof. Dr. Christian T. Haas, director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems at Fresenius University.
“A particular problem associated with the current project is that we need to not only understand the behavior of the system, but also translate it into a digital concept that machines can work with. Security is the highest priority, but performance aspects are also important to the automation process. ”