The Hub2Hub consortium received £6.6 million to construct a world-first, autonomous zero-emission HGV for the UK market.
The Hub2Hub cooperation will produce a self-driving heavy freight tractor unit in 2024, with ASDA as significant partners.
The Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) awarded the £12 million project one of seven industry-government grants. The Hub2Hub will demonstrate the promise of autonomy in transportation, bringing unparalleled efficiency, safety, and operational cost savings to logistics operators and creating new jobs.
HVS, Fusion Processing, and ASDA will manufacture two prototype cars. The first hydrogen-electric HGV prototype will be installed with a driver’s cab and tested on the road in autonomous mode using Fusion Processing Ltd.’s Automated Drive System, CAVStar, with a human safety driver at the wheel.
Aerodynamic fairings will replace the driver’s cab on the second prototype. The CAVStar technology will allow a remote human driver in a control hub to operate this vehicle on test tracks during the project.
These two prototypes suggest an optimized future logistics system where vehicles might run autonomously on a hub-to-hub path and then be driven by a remote driver to their destination.
HVS’ HGV will accelerate Hub-to-Hub automated driving technology and decarbonize one of the most polluting vehicle sectors. Fusion, a UK pioneer in autonomous vehicles, will develop and integrate its advanced CAVstar system, which uses vision systems, AI, and route planning to create a completely autonomous vehicle that takes over from a human driver and returns control at pre-determined hubs.
Fleet operators can reduce logistics costs and pollution by optimizing vehicle use during off-peak hours. On-board advanced automatic drive systems optimize acceleration and braking better than humans, reducing energy and tire emissions.
Operational efficiencies will allow new transport logistics freedoms and vehicle TCO reductions, supporting new business models. Autonomous vehicle depots and hubs will increase operators’ space, safety, and efficiency.
By 2035, 40% of new UK car sales will be self-driving, and networked and automated mobility will be worth £41.7 billion to the UK. Nearly 40,000 skilled CAV employment could result.