Unmanned Kamaz trucks drive in the Arctic | Polarjournal

The Russian company KAMAZ is located in the industrial city of Naberesnye Chelny, about 1,000 km east of Moscow. In addition to trucks, diesel engines, buses and tanks are also produced at the automotive plant. (Photo: Gazprom Neft)

Pilotless “Kamaz” trucks have successfully traveled 2,500 kilometers at the East Messojakhskoye oil deposit in the Autonomous District of Yamal-Nenets in Northern Russia. The tests were carried out as part of a joint project between the Russian oil company Gazprom Neft and the commercial vehicle manufacturer Kamaz. This was possible mainly thanks to the simplified access of highly automated vehicles to public roads and the expansion of the geography of the experiment.

The long-term test was a joint project of Gazprom Neft and the commercial vehicle manufacturer Kamaz. (Photo: Gazprom Neft)

The aim of the tests was to confirm the potential effectiveness of unmanned trucks. Driverless cars have shown that they can move with high accuracy on certain routes, exchange information on dual communication systems, detect obstacles and predict the route taking into account the current traffic situation. The trucks were controlled from the control center at the oil deposit East-Messojakhskoye.

As the project participants noted, the main advantage of unmanned trucks is their unlimited commitment. Cars with an autonomous control system do not tire and make no mistakes even on difficult routes, at low temperatures, snowstorms and poor visibility. Compared to manned trucks, the “Kamaz” without a driver are 50 percent safer and can reduce freight costs by 10 to 15 percent.

“Despite the fact that unmanned technologies are a relatively new phenomenon for Russia, the demand for unmanned “Kamaz” vehicles became clear a few years ago, and the company has been active in this area for a long time. Today, interest in the use of unmanned transport among industrial companies is increasing and the legal basis is gradually being formed. This opens up new possibilities for us,” said Irek Gumerow, member of the board of directors of Kamaz.

He expressed confidence that, depending on the resolution of legal problems that have long restricted the production of unmanned vehicles in Russia, this issue will be given a new development.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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