UD Trucks has joined the global pursuit to develop fully electric and self-driving trucks.
The group launched a road map, called Fujin & Raijin, Vision 2030, that aims to deliver fully-electric and autonomous trucks over the next 12 years.
The Japanese truck maker says its innovation roadmap takes a step-by-step approach, together with customers, to offer commercialised solutions for select automation and electromobility applications from 2020, with a view toward fully fledged commercialisation by 2030.
By 2030, demand for parcel delivery is expected to grow 50% compared with 2014. To meet this demand, the logistics industry faces significant challenges, including reducing carbon emissions, the growing scale of online commerce and driver shortages.
UD Trucks says “transformative innovations in automation and electromobility” are key to overcoming these challenges and providing customers with trucks that fit their needs.
“When delivering on our promise to provide the trucks and services the world needs today, we have always done things a bit differently from others in our industry,” says UD Trucks chairperson Joachim Rosenberg.
“As we now look forward, we are convinced that the world needs smart logistics.”
UD Trucks says it takes inspiration for its roadmap from the gods of wind and thunder, as depicted in the famous gold-embossed Japanese folding screen, Fujin and Raijin.
UD Trucks’ progress in automation is inspired by Fujin, the god of wind, who symbolises the power of movement, while its work in electromobility is inspired by Raijin, the god of thunder, who symbolises the power of energy.
UD Trucks is focusing on solutions for safe, low-speed automation in confined areas, including in-plant and harbour logistics. It is also exploring on-road Highway Auto Pilot and Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control platooning technologies in the near term, and more highly automated on-road vehicles in the long term.
In the field of electromobility, UD Trucks says it is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its products. As battery systems continue to evolve, UD Trucks is testing a variety of solutions.
Over the course of 2018, UD Trucks will conduct demonstrations of autonomous driving and electric drive prototypes, targeting field tests and customer trials ahead of Tokyo Motor Show 2019.
It aims to have vehicles in actual daily operation by 2020.