Electromobility, digitisation and autonomous vehicles – MAN to demonstrate what is already being achieved at IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018
Commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus gave the pre-press conference in Berlin a sneak preview of the innovations it will be showcasing at IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 in September. Alongside the latest product highlights for trucks and coaches, MAN’s advances in the fields of electromobility, digitisation and autonomous vehicles will be the main focus of its exhibit at the industry trade fair, which takes place every two years in Hanover, Germany.
- The future of urban passenger and cargo transport is electric
- Platooning reduces CO2 emissions and significantly increases safety on the motorway
- MAN is changing from a manufacturer of commercial vehicles to a provider of intelligent and sustainable transport solutions
“The future of urban passenger and cargo transport is electric.”
Alongside an all-electric distribution truck – the MAN eTGM – MAN will also be exhibiting the MAN eTGE, a battery electric version of the new MAN transporter, at IAA. In doing so, MAN is one of the first manufacturers to present all-electric solutions for the entire scope of city logistics applications between 3 and 26 tonnes. For Joachim Drees, Chief Executive Officer of MAN Truck & Bus AG, this is the most important field of use for electric commercial vehicles: “The urban environment is where eTrucks can truly demonstrate their strengths. They have zero local emissions and therefore contribute to improving the city air. What’s more, they are extremely quiet, meaning that in future it may be possible to make deliveries to supermarkets at night, for example – solving the problem of daytime traffic. For us, one thing is clear: the future of urban passenger and cargo transport is electric.” When it comes to city buses too, things are certainly moving in the direction of electric power. For this reason, MAN has concluded development partnerships with Munich, Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Luxembourg and Paris with the aim of incorporating people’s everyday experiences into series development. A prototype of the MAN Lion’s City E will also be on show for the first time at this year’s IAA. The next step is to introduce a demo fleet of electric buses into everyday use in various European cities before series production of the battery electric version of the new MAN Lion’s City can finally get under way. This extensive trial will ensure that the vehicles can meet the high reliability standards required for use in local public transport.
“Platooning reduces CO2 emissions and significantly increases safety on the motorway”
Berlin Brandenburg Airport – the German capital's new and as yet unfinished airport and location of the IAA pre-press conference – has one thing in abundance: lots of free space. MAN therefore made use of the airport’s taxiway to demonstrate how truck platooning works. The concept involves an electronic drawbar which connects two or more trucks together. The first truck determines the speed and direction, while the one behind follows in an automated manner at a very short distance of around just 10 to 15 metres. By using the slipstream, the convoy reduces the fuel it consumes by up to ten per cent. A driver sits in the following vehicle and can take action and override the system if required. “Platooning noticeably reduces CO2 emissions and significantly increases safety on the motorway. The electronic system of the following truck responds in just 5 milliseconds when the brake is applied in the front truck – faster than any human. The technology has the potential to significantly reduce the number of serious rear-end collisions on motorways,” explains Drees. As part of a pilot project, a MAN platoon has already been in operation on Germany’s A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg since the end of June. In collaboration with DB Schenker, the commercial vehicle manufacturer is testing how the technology acquits itself on the real road network. The field trial will be accompanied by the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, which is investigating the effects on drivers.
The automatic emergency brake assist used in trucks and buses as well as the camera monitor system which helps drivers when turning and aims to prevent serious accidents caused by blind spots also ensure increased safety. These systems were also demonstrated live.
“MAN is changing from a manufacturer of commercial vehicles to a provider of intelligent and sustainable transport solutions”
In previous years, it was mainly the new bus and truck models that characterised the exhibits showcased by MAN Truck & Bus at IAA. Yet recently, digital innovations have increasingly come into the mix. “MAN is changing from a manufacturer of commercial vehicles to a provider of intelligent and sustainable transport solutions,” states Joachim Drees. It was for this reason that MAN founded the digital brand RIO in 2016 as a way of connecting the world of transport with the aid of an open, cloud-based platform and making it more economical and ecological. In order to underline this cross-manufacturer and open approach, RIO has been a separate, independent brand under the umbrella of Volkswagen Truck & Bus since 2017.
Building on this platform, MAN is already offering its customers initial digital solutions tailored to MAN vehicles under the name “MAN DigitalServices”. This means that in future MAN customers will be able to view vehicle data and the derived analyses in real time and wherever they are. As a result, customers will receive recommendations specifically tailored to them and their vehicles. At IAA 2018, MAN is presenting further services for optimising vehicle analysis and maintenance management. With RIO as a strategic partner, MAN customers are able to benefit from digital vehicle services. And at the same time, the operators of mixed fleets receive a standardised basis of digital logistics services for the entire fleet – irrespective of the vehicle brand.
MAN Truck & Bus at IAA 2018: Reliable, innovative and customer-focused
At the IAA 2018, MAN is exhibiting its TG series, which recently underwent considerable updates. The lion brand is focusing on tried-and-tested product advantages such as reliability, efficiency and customer focus. With its digital services, MAN also provides answers to future customer and logistics demands.
The drivelines featured in the TG series ensure efficient fuel consumption with high performance and good driving dynamics, in addition to the customary high levels of reliability. The most powerful version of the D38 engine offers up to 640 metric horsepower and reaches up to 3000 Nm torque even at low engine speeds. The D26 engine is optimised for fleet applications and features a performance range of 420 to 500 mhp. At the same time, its own weight and fuel consumption are quite low. Thanks to the finely tuned MAN TipMatic gearbox, which has individual driving programmes for all types of application, as well as the sensitive starting strategy and efficient and application-oriented shifting strategy, the heavy MAN TGS and TGX series have highly efficient, economical and environmentally friendly drivelines. In the medium-sized truck segment, MAN TGL and TGM operate with the new D08 engine presented at the end of 2017. The four-cylinder design features power levels of 160, 190 and 220 mhp, and the six-cylinder design features up to 250, 290 and 320 mhp. The new MAN D08SCR generation of engines excels with its simpler design and exhaust gas aftertreatment based solely on selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. This expands the range of applications while easing maintenance and strengthening overall reliability. MAN has also managed to further reduce the new unit’s consumption by 5.5 percent. The TGL and TGM can also boast added driving comfort and efficiency thanks to functions for the TipMatic gearbox which were introduced with the current D08 generation.
Optimum operating comfort and high quality of living for drivers
The new features inside the driver cabin which were presented at the end of 2017 and implemented in the series in 2018 make life and work more comfortable for drivers in TG series trucks. The new interior design was optimised for application purposes and driving tasks, and primarily takes shape around the work place in the short C and M cabs. Meanwhile, drivers will also benefit from the redesigned living area in the long L, LX, XL, XLX and XXL cabs, which are chiefly used in the MAN TGX and TGS. This not only includes a refrigerator that can be lowered completely under the sleeper berth, but also a storage and light system that has been optimised for the rest area. All the important comfort features can be controlled via the centralised operator control concept. In addition, the TGX series ensures restful sleep with an acoustic package that markedly reduces the noise levels in the cab using extensive insulation measures. Specially designed for applications in the traction area, the Urban Concrete new cabin interior option is now available. This is a harmonious interior design that is especially resistant to dirt.
Driver relief and safety are the top priorities
MAN has equipped the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with a stop-and-go function to prevent driver fatigue as far as possible on congested roads and in sluggish traffic situations. This automatically regulates the distance from the vehicle in front (including at low speeds), slows the vehicle (to a stop if necessary) and automatically moves off again after short stops. This way, the driver can relax and enjoy the ride free of stress, even in stop-and-go traffic. In addition to the new stop-and-go function, the new generation of ACC from MAN also offers a more comfortable response when the truck approaches vehicles driving in front of it. The system also avoids unnecessary breaking and accelerating, thereby reducing wear on the brakes and fuel consumption when driving with ACC.
ACC and ACC stop-and-go are ideal additions to the Emergency Brake Assist (EBA 2) and Lane Guard System (LGS) safety set-ups, proactively helping to avoid accidents. The EBA 2 advanced emergency braking assistant already considerably surpasses the stricter legal stipulations for emergency brake systems which will come into effect in November this year. Its highly-developed sensor data fusion of radar and camera systems allows EBA 2 to interpret even complicated traffic scenarios more reliably, as well as identifying vehicles and standing obstacles in front of the truck with greater reliability, meaning emergency brakes are triggered only when necessary. Due to its positive experiences with this design philosophy, in spring of 2017, MAN stopped installing EBA 2 as standard in such a way that drivers could press buttons on the instrument panel and deactivate it. The company did so to increase the safety offered by the system. This arrangement guarantees that the driver continues to have complete control of the system at all times.
MAN DigitalServices – customer services and applications
With the introduction of its new MAN DigitalServices group division, MAN is offering custom digital services and applications exclusively for MAN vehicles. Using RIO, the cloud-based, open logistics platform, mixed fleet operators can harness the extensive MAN DigitalServices to connect their vehicles made by MAN and other brands at all levels, allowing them to operate their vehicles even more efficiently. At the same time, the MAN DigitalServices applications are explicitly designed to be functional, suited for everyday use and extremely user-friendly. Since August 2017, the RIO Box has become a standard part of all brand-new MAN truck series adhering to the Euro 6 standard in Europe. That means MAN trucks feature the first component of an infrastructure whose services will be able to interconnect the entire transportation and logistics industry in the future. The RIO Box functions as an interface between vehicles and the RIO platform.
By the pros for the pros – tailor-made sectoral training from MAN ProfiDrive
Offering customised and needs-based sectoral training sessions for truck and bus drivers, MAN ProfiDrive has been focusing with even greater precision on the requirements and demands of its customers since the end of last year.
Customers can compile a training programme for their transportation tasks from an extensive portfolio of training modules. The MAN ProfiDrive experts work together with the customer to develop and design the events, as well as organising the time, schedule, location, and making adjustments to the basic training content (such as driving safety, technology, load securing, off-road training and efficiency).
MAN and NEOPLAN buses at the IAA 2018
Today's buses for the transport challenges of tomorrow. MAN Truck & Bus is exhibiting a wide range of bus products at this year’s IAA. The new MAN Lion’s City eBus and CNG as well as a MAN TGE-based minibus are being presented to the public for the first time.
- The new generation of city buses is rounded off with the eBus and the new E18 gas engine
- MAN Lion’s Coach with electrohydraulically steered trailing axle and new MAN TipMatic Coach transmission
- For the first time a MAN TGE-based minibus
- NEOPLAN Skyliner optionally available with stairs to the right
- Information on MAN Transport Solutions’ comprehensive consulting services and on MAN services
Following the première of the new generation of city buses in Spring 2018, the IAA is providing a stage for commercial vehicles to present the new MAN Lion’s City to a wider audience for the first time. The hybrid module, MAN Efficient Hybrid, is thus celebrating its first appearance at the trade show. On the one hand, it saves fuel thanks to its use of recovered braking energy. On the other, the stop-start function supports super-silent and emission-free stop phases. In addition to the exciting, eye-catching new smart edge design, the two-axle vehicle being exhibited at the IAA stands out thanks to an innovation on the doors: Illuminated door closing edges indicate the opening and closing action of the doors in different colours.
Alongside the diesel version, the city bus family will also be upgraded with alternative drive systems in time for IAA 2018. In addition, as a world première on its stand MAN Truck & Bus is for the first time exhibiting a city bus incorporating the newly developed gas engine as well as a prototype of the fully electric Lion City E. The latter visually contrasts with its conventional brother on the trade show stand thanks to its slightly modified design underlining the unique nature of the electric drive system. In particular, the withdrawal of the engine housing and so the additional seats at the rear clearly set the eBus apart as such. The fully electric drivetrain delivers 160 up to a maximum of 270 kW. The inside of the solo bus, designed with 29 seats, can be accessed through three electrically operated doors.
As the market leader in the market sector for gas-driven city buses, during the same year as its presentation of the new MAN Lion’s City, MAN is also presenting the completely newly developed gas engine, the MAN E18, also as an option with MAN Efficient Hybrid. So MAN demonstrates the high priority it attaches to alternative drive systems within its product portfolio. The articulated bus on show demonstrates the passenger flow-optimising effect of innovative, situation-based illuminated partitions and translucent concertina walls. Optimised for standing room capacity, the four-door vehicle boasts 39 seats. The newly developed MAN E1856 LOH delivers 320 HP (235 kW) and uses a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
The MAN product portfolio is rounded off at its show stand with a MAN Lion’s Coach L, in a long-haul version complete with lift and two wheelchair places. Unlike the Lion’s Coach presented last year for the first time, the position of the C-pillar has now been optimised for a better view including in the first row of seats. Otherwise the bus now has an electrohydraulically steered trailing axle increasing manoeuvrability and the new 12-gear transmission, the MAN TipMatic Coach. The enhanced-performance MAN D2676 LOH delivers 470 HP (346 kW) and 2,400 Nm maximum torque. The new engine version is available from July 2019.
NEOPLAN: Comfortable and innovative for every application
The NEOPLAN Skyliner on show is optimised to be able to meet the requirements of long-haul transportation. Thanks to its low-floor design on the lower deck, it also offers comfortable access for people with limited mobility. Thanks to the incorporation of fold-up seats on a sliding system, up to two wheelchair places are available on it. To accommodate optimised passenger flow and a higher seating capacity, as an option MAN has moved the front stairs to the right-hand side of the vehicle at the exhibit. Thus 78 passengers can find a comfortable seat on the double decker. The drive system comprises a redesigned D26 engine now delivering 510 HP (375 kW) and a maximum torque of 2,600 Nm and features the new generation of MAN TipMatic Coach automated gear shift transmission.
As an effective measure to prevent blind spot-related accidents, the NEOPLAN Skyliner and Cityliner on show have a new replacement mirror system. Cameras on both sides of the vehicle deliver real-time images on two displays built into the driver's field of view thereby eliminating any blind spot. At a glance the driver can thus assess the complete situation, which would otherwise require rear, wide-angle and ramp mirrors. The camera technology used supports high-resolution display of the surrounding area irrespective of daylight so that the driver has improved view at night and in changing light conditions. In addition, in contrast to the mirror limiting factors due, for example, to misting up, dirt accumulation or sun glare are also minimised. This also enhances safety at the same time as reducing the probability of having a collision and thus the repair costs.
The NEOPLAN Cityliner has also incorporated a bird view system, which supports observation of the surroundings with six cameras. The image is output to a separate monitor on the driver’s console. The Cityliner L not only promises an ultra-safe travel experience but also one that is ultra-exclusive thanks to its modified interior. With the focus on the feel and experience, it meets the most demanding comfort and catering requirements for up to 35 passengers. In addition to the exclusive VIP lounge, for this purpose it has a kitchen with a convection oven, induction charging for mobile telephones and ambient lighting. The MAN Bus Modification Center thus once again impressively demonstrates its supreme ability in fitting out vehicles.
The Tourliner C on show marks the entry point into the NEOPLAN World. And what an entry! As the third vehicle in the movingART art project, the two-axle vehicle blazons a prominent Berlin adhesive tape livery. In the interior complementary warm, earthy colours and materials are found, which accentuate the premium, modern design. Incorporating 4-star seating, 48 passengers can be seated on the coach, which has a state-of-the-art drivetrain with recently performance-enhanced 470 HP (346 kW) and 2,400 Nm maximum torque as well as the new MAN TipMatic Coach.
MAN TGE Minibus
With the introduction of the MAN TGE, MAN Truck & Bus positioned itself at the last IAA for commercial vehicles as a full-range provider in freight transport. This heralds the culmination in its bus product range including TGE-based minibuses. An intercity variant with 15 passenger seats is being exhibited at the show stand in the form of the MAN TGE Intercity. Access is gained via an electric sliding door with an electric retractable step board, and a standard roof-mounted air-conditioning system constantly provides pleasant temperatures. In addition, USB charging sockets on the side walls and additional speakers further enhance passenger convenience. The minibus, which might for example be used for shuttle, excursion and hotel feeder traffic, measures 7,391 mm and has numerous assistance systems such as the Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), a lateral wind assistant and active lane guard system. Under the bonnet a 2-litre engine delivers 177 HP (130 kW), with manual transmission.
Highly recommended: MAN Services and MAN Transport Solutions
In addition to its products, the MAN show stand will also be available to discuss the extensive services offered by the commercial vehicle manufacturer such as maintenance management, repair service, OEM parts and accessories as well as financial services. For example, the MAN in-house training provider, MAN ProfiDrive, promises improved safety and efficiency through its hands-on driver training courses. Particularly in the area of passenger transport, there is a focus on the technical safety aspects and how they can be improved. In order to optimise road transport economy the goal is to achieve fuel savings of up to 10% through a smart combination of driver ability, forward-looking time management and economical route planning.
MAN is dedicating an in-house specialism to the challenges of switching to alternative drive systems. Here the experts in the consulting team of MAN Transport Solutions will answer all questions about the pathway from “low emissions” to “no emissions”. The focus of the consulting services is on electrification of bus, truck and van fleets. Drawing upon a wealth of experience, not only can the qualified consultants provide advice regarding the vehicle itself, they are also able to cover issues relating to infrastructure and energy demand, as well as maintenance concepts and fleet design.
The TGE – the MAN among vans
The well-established, Munich-based company last year successfully entered the van segment with the MAN TGE. The MAN van is aimed at demanding customers who need light commercial vehicles to perform challenging tasks. Specialist TGE sales advisors are on hand to provide custom solutions.
- MAN as a full-range vendor
- Up to 18.4 cubic metres load capacity
- Engines from 75 kW to 130 kW
- Safety as standard thanks to Emergency Brake Assist
- Service and deployment round the clock
- Full-range vendor
MAN is a full-range vendor, offering vehicles from 3.0 to 44 tonnes gross vehicle weight rating to handle any transport task. MAN has extended its long-standing customer-oriented truck business into the van segment with the TGE. The focus is always on finding the best solution for the customer. Specially trained staff are on hand to provide expert advice and support. They provide many years' experience, as well as liaising efficiently with the various body manufacturers and working closely with large key-account customers. Teamwork between the customer, the body manufacturer and MAN's sales and service functions results in a vehicle that will offer optimum user value through its life cycle. MAN Truck & Bus sees the target groups for future applications of its van in the logistics and construction sectors, as well as meeting the specific needs of professional trades and passenger transport operators. What all the applications have in common: The MAN TGE offers the best total cost of ownership (TCO) figures thanks to its minimal drag coefficient (Cd) value of 0.33, the lowest fuel consumption in its class, and low servicing and repair costs.
Lots of space and high load capacity
Alongside the panel van and a glazed combi, single-cab and crew cab bodies enhance the portfolio. The single- and double-cab variants can of course be ordered with a wide range of body units ex-factory. The MAN TGE comes in a choice of two wheelbases, three roof heights and three lengths. The panel vans range in length from 5983 millimetres, to 6833 millimetres, up to the 7388 millimetres of the long variant with the large overhang. The available vehicle heights are 2340, 2575 and 2800 millimetres. In the right combination, this results in a maximum load space capacity of 18.4 cubic metres. Bright LED lighting of the load space always comes as standard. The entry-level MAN TGE feature a 3.0 tonne gross vehicle weight rating, while the top-of-the-range model offers 5.5 tonnes. The trailer hitch enables a further 3.5 tonnes to be transported. The maximum payload of the 3.5 tonner, for example, is exceptional. Ideally configured, it is able to carry a load of up to 1.5 tonnes.
Diverse and economical drive systems
There is also a wide range of available drive variants. Depending on the permissible gross vehicle weight rating, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive are available, optionally featuring a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic gearbox. The MAN TGE features a new-generation diesel engine promising high levels of durability and reliability. The 1968 cm3 engine comes in 75 kW/102 hp, 90 kW/122 hp, 103 kW/140 hp and 130 kW/177 hp variants. The four-cylinder unit is specially designed to handle the tough demands of a commercial vehicle's working life. Economy and robustness were the top priorities in developing it. Attributes which are combined in the MAN TGE to deliver new best-in-class performance in both economic and ecological terms.
Comfort and everyday practicality in the interior
The TGE's cab combines a commercial vehicle's workplace with a practical living space. Lots of well-designed storage facilities support drivers in their daily work. The upholstery and shaping of the driver's seat – available in four design variants – provide for optimum comfort on long trips and offer perfect side support. Durability is assured by tried and proven wear-resistant coverings from the truck model series.
Maximum safety thanks to assistance systems
The Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) fitted as standard in the TGE represents MAN's major contribution to road safety. Sensors monitor critical distances to the vehicle ahead and help to reduce the vehicle's stopping distance. As an additional safety feature, the integrated City Emergency Brake automatically brakes the vehicle at low speeds to reduce rear-end shunts – one of the most frequent causes of accidents – and therefore minimise off-road times and repair costs, as well as enhance the vehicle's residual value. The optional Reversing Assist helps when reversing out of parking spaces. A trailer manoeuvring assist feature can also be activated as required. The electromechanical power steering compensates for countersteer forces such as those created by side winds. The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) ensures high levels of comfort on lengthy motorway stretches. The drowsiness detection function and the multi-collision brake enhance safety for everyone. The multi-collision brake prevents secondary collisions with other obstacles or road users in the event of an accident.
The new model series additionally benefits from the professional backup of MAN Service: It is renowned for providing uncomplicated assistance, often without the need to arrange a service centre appointment, fast help in emergencies, including at weekends and at night, and very long opening times. Full-service packages are of course available, as well as flexible repair and maintenance contracts. Extended warranties, a mobility guarantee and 24-hour breakdown assistance round off the range of workshop services. MAN also offers specially tailored financial services to support fleet managers and owners when procuring vehicles and throughout a vehicle's life cycle. MAN ProfiDrive trainers offer a range of courses to provide drivers with continuing professional development training. The course modules cover topics such as how to respond in an emergency, economical driving techniques, and how to stow loads securely. This wide-ranging portfolio enables users and owners to customise their service packages in a way that is rarely seen in the light commercial vehicle segment.
Platooning in the logistics industry: world's first practical use of networked truck convoys in Germany
Research project of DB Schenker, MAN Truck & Bus, and Hochschule Fresenius started in the test phase on the A9 highway.
- Strategic partnerships as innovation drivers
- Unprecedented use of technology
- People still top priority
As the world's first logistics provider, DB Schenker, together with its cooperation partners MAN Truck & Bus and Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, sent on June 25th 2018 two digitally networked trucks into practical use.
In the presence of Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer, a truck "platoon" set off from the DB Schenker branch office in Neufahrn near Munich via the A9 digital test field to Nuremberg. The federal government is funding the pilot project with around EUR 2 million.
Federal Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer said: "This is a visionary research project for our digital test site, the A9 highway. The project marks the start of the automated and networked future of road haulage. We bring tomorrow's technology onto today's roads, testing the intelligent interaction of man, machine and material. Our opportunities: logistics processes – from ramp to customer – can become safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. And truck drivers can become modern logistics specialists in digital trucks.”
Strategic partnerships as innovation drivers
The regular test runs of the networked trucks began on June 25th, along the 145-kilometer route. Trials are being carried out without any loads until early August. After that, the platoons will be on the road every day, making up to three routine logistics trips and laden with part loads of, for example, machine parts, drinks, or paper.
The project partners are thus doing pioneering work. "This first use of truck platoons in Germany will set new standards in the logistics market, from which our customers will benefit first and foremost," said Alexander Doll, DB Board Member for Freight Transport and Logistics. "With this project, DB Schenker is showing what matters for companies all over the world in the future: advancing innovations through new partnerships."
By using this technology, DB Schenker is expanding its digital business model. "Today, we at DB are once again bringing a new technology to the road. With the platooning project, we are further expanding our pioneering role in the field of autonomous and networked driving," emphasized Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke, DB Board Member for Digitalization and Technology.
With MAN Truck & Bus and DB Schenker, two of the world's leading companies in their sectors are cooperating to jointly promote the subject of automated driving. "It's not just about using a technology. It's about integrating it effectively into the entire logistics chain. The findings from the joint project are an important step towards series development. This will give MAN a leading role in the automation and digitization of commercial vehicles," said Joachim Drees, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus AG.
Unprecedented use of technology
During the unprecedented practical tests, the platooning technology for logistics use will be further optimized, for example with regard to system safety, fuel consumption, and better use of space on freeways. The project partners also hope to gain insights into the social acceptance of the networked driving style, as well as into transport policy and infrastructural prerequisites.
People still top priority
Since the collaboration began in May 2017 and the official handover of the test vehicles by MAN in February of this year, the truck drivers have been prepared for their role in the project through intensive training. The psychosocial and neurophysiological effects of the new technology on the drivers in the platoon will be examined by Hochschule Fresenius with an accompanying study. This will allow important experiences of the truck drivers to be incorporated and their job profile developed further. "It's obvious that digitization of the mobility and transport system is leading to completely new requirements for employees in the industry," said Prof. Dr. Christian Haas, Director of the Institute for Complex Health Research at Hochschule Fresenius. We hope that our findings can also contribute to a better understanding and design of other digitized human machine interfaces."
Functionality of platooning
The term "platooning" refers to a system that vehicles use on the road in which at least two trucks drive in a tight convoy on a freeway, supported by technical driving assistance and control systems. All of the vehicles in the platoon are linked to each other by an electronic "drawbar" that uses vehicle-to-vehicle communication. The truck in front sets the speed and direction, and the others follow.
Backup – MAN develops driverless safety vehicle for motorway roadworks
Around 44 percent of all accidents on Germany’s motorways involving trucks occur in the inside lane or on the hard-shoulder. Collisions with safety vehicles protecting the rear end of rolling roadworks are a regular feature of these incidents. Even though the distinctive orange-coloured highway agency vehicles pull a trailer with a four metre high illuminated hazard warning and lane closure sign, they are sometimes overlooked or noticed too late – sadly with often serious consequences.
- “aFAS” research project investigating technical feasibility of automated driving
- MAN and seven partners from industry, scientific research and public administration paving the way for future transport
- MAN TGM 18.340 being piloted as a driverless safety vehicle on motorways
- Project successfully completed in June 2018
This led MAN Truck & Bus and seven partners from the worlds of industry, scientific research and public administration to develop a ground-breaking mobile solution to this risk through the “aFAS” research project. Titled Rückendeckung (Backup), it eliminates the need for a human driver in hazardous situations. “aFAS” is an abbreviation for the German phrase meaning “automatic driverless safety vehicle for motorway roadworks”. As that description indicates, the project involves the design of a prototype safety vehicle capable of following rolling roadworks along the hard-shoulder of the motorway entirely automatically, with no driver required, protecting the on-site personnel and other works vehicles from the flowing traffic.
The four-year research project was launched back in 2014 and designed to run for four years, financed by funding of some €3.4 million in total from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The project represented the first complete technical feasibility study for such a vehicle, as well as considering the extent to which current standards and legislation would have to be amended – plus, needless to say, the impact it would have on public roads in live operation.
MAN developed the automated safety vehicle in cooperation with other technical project partners, itself being responsible for driving functionality, wireless communications, the HMI (Human Machine Interface) and the complete vehicle specification.
The test vehicle was a MAN TGM 18.340, fitted out with cameras and radar systems to provide all-round visibility and sensing, as well as various assistance systems. The steering and braking systems, sensors and control software also had to meet the most stringent criteria. The prototype vehicle was largely built using mass production components, both for its regular control systems and in implementing functional safety aspects. An additional specially developed all-round sensor system featuring high levels of safety and an integrated, highly reliable object and lane detection system also enabled analysis of road and traffic situation data. The data communication between the working vehicle at the front and the safety vehicle at the rear was wireless, and displays were installed in both vehicles to indicate the operating state of the driverless prototype.
After the driver has activated all the systems and climbed out of the cab, the TGM steers, accelerates and brakes autonomously, following the vehicle ahead at a defined distance. In the event of a malfunction, it automatically comes to a stop. When passing by critical locations such as entry or exit slip-roads, the prototype can be brought to within a few metres of the lead vehicle and digitally “coupled” to it.
In the early years of the project, the system initially underwent trials on MAN test tracks, then in the second half of 2017 on closed stretches of roadworks on motorways in the state of Hesse, before the vehicle was returned to its developers in Munich. The MAN TGM prototype was further optimised based on the experience gained in this process, and has been running in a real-world pilot on motorways in Hesse since early April 2018.
The “aFAS” project was successfully completed in June. The findings from it will be incorporated into MAN’s future production development, and into further testing and research projects relating to automated and autonomous driving (such as platooning).
Transport 4.0 – Fleet Management of the Future Begins with new MAN DigitalServices
By launching the new MAN DigitalServices group division, MAN is offering customised digital services and applications exclusively for MAN vehicles. The comprehensive MAN DigitalServices are based on RIO, the cloud-based, open logistics platform, and mixed fleet operators can use them to connect (and, in turn, more efficiently use) their MAN vehicles and other brands at all levels. At the same time, the MAN DigitalServices applications are expressly designed to be functional, suitable for day-to-day operations and extremely user-friendly.
- MAN DigitalServices based the on RIO platform, exclusively for MAN vehicles
- MAN DigitalServices offers an extensive range of applications for sustainable fleet management
- Intelligent digital services make modern fleets even more cost-effective and environmentally friendly
Charged with the task mastering future economic challenges while meeting constantly growing environmental and social requirements, the transport industry in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution faces a complex series of tasks that entail far more than simply “moving goods from A to B”. Digitalisation, efficient fleet management, synergy effects and universal connectedness are the catchwords when it comes to long-term competitiveness among transport companies. In these areas, MAN DigitalServices can support its customers with a constantly growing range of digital services perfectly tailored to MAN vehicles. They help to keep track of and optimise all the factors that contribute to the total cost of ownership (TCO).
MAN DigitalServices builds on RIO, the cloud-based digital platform for logistics applications, which MAN presented at the International Motor Show in 2016. This connectivity solution for the transport industry also includes the RIO Box hardware, which is open to different systems and manufacturers, and has proven so successful that it is even being installed in other vehicle brands.
The RIO Box is installed as standard in all new MAN Euro 6 model series trucks, and their owners can use the basic digital functions of MAN Essentials free of charge after registering on the RIO platform. The user receives a wide variety of information about the vehicle at hand from their computer, such as its current location (also displayed on a digital map), current speed, mileage, service life, average speed and weight, as well as an analysis of its fuel consumption. This data can be retrieved for up to 10 days. The “Advance” package makes it possible to analyse other data. This expansion is available via an online shop, the MAN Marketplace.
The MAN ServiceCare application provides customers with a proactive tool for perfect maintenance management of their fleet. The RIO Box delivers all the vehicle’s maintenance-related data to MAN ServiceCare. The user and the MAN workshop responsible for their vehicle automatically receive information about service intervals or the need to service wear components in the near future. This way, the fleet owner can view the current status of their vehicles, wherever they may be located. Meanwhile, the workshop receives a status overview via MAN ServiceCare and can arrange an appointment for their customers early on. Service signals unexpectedly flashing on the display, long stationary times in the workshop and waiting for spare parts are relics from the analogue era.
Needless to say, MAN ServiceCare is always undergoing further development with a clear focus on real, day-to-day customer needs. One of the first additional benefits is remote truck diagnosis. This makes it possible to isolate the cause of a potential failure to such an extent that the mechanic can, before setting off, decide whether a repair can be performed on site and which spare parts and tools they will need to bring along. This saves valuable time and money in emergencies.
But MAN DigitalServices has its eye on more than just vehicles; it also addresses the industry’s social and administrative requirements. The MAN Compliant application allows users to fully automatically download all the data from the vehicle’s digital tachograph (driver card every seven days, mass storage unit every 30 days), no matter where they are. Previously, this was only possible on site; for instance, at the company’s offices. This also has an advanced feature which can be used to store, analyse and manage the data for up to 25 months. This complies with the legally stipulated two-year period during which transport companies must retain data.
Speaking of the Future – MAN M-PULSE
Bundling together its communications about innovation and the future on the MAN M-PULSE platform, MAN has adopted “providing the crucial M-PULSE” as its slogan. Its focus will be on raising awareness about MAN’s status as a trailblazer in forward-looking commercial vehicle engineering and technology, among both MAN customers and the wider public.
- MAN provides one-stop shop for communications about future-related topics
- MAN M-PULSE to be a platform for all MAN innovations
MAN’s M-PULSE label will promote sustainable transport and the vision of a zero-emissions future. It is intended to transport the pioneering spirit from MAN’s history into tomorrow, continuously boosting awareness of all MAN’s projects, products and services in the context of these innovative topics.
MAN will provide information about a huge range of topics via this label, including alternative drive solutions (such as hybrid and CNG technology in MAN and Neoplan buses); MAN’s comprehensive range of consultation options and services on offer when it comes to electric commercial vehicles (from vehicles to energy supply and route planning); and new infrastructure and transport concepts such as cooperation with the Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL), which road-tests electric trucks in urban and peri-urban distribution transport.
Naturally, MAN M-PULSE also covers the successful implementation of efficient and cost-effective transport solutions, the research and development of the future – which looks closer than ever. The digital services on offer include autonomous driving, vehicle platooning, the RIO logistics platform launched by MAN (which is cloud-based and open to various brands), and MAN Digital Services.
MAN is continuing its tradition with MAN M-PULSE – from the inventing the diesel engine to paving the way for the transport world of tomorrow.