AWARD is a R&D project funded by the European Commission under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Its name stands for “All Weather Autonomous Real logistics operations and Demonstrations”. The overall objective of AWARD is to develop and demonstrate driverless heavy-duty vehicles in harsh weather conditions for real-logistics operations.
Connected and automated driving systems for commercial vehicles have a great potential. They can improve safety and efficiency of freight transport (emissions/freight ratio, fuel consumption, road occupancy, vehicle utilization, capacity of transport network both in confined areas and in mixed traffic (hub-to-hub) and make logistics operations more competitive. Significant progress has been made in the field of autonomous truck driving with numerous prototypes. However, there is still a gap to fill in order to ensure the uptake of this breakthrough technology and the future advent of an overall autonomous logistic chain. The current inabilities autonomous heavy-duty vehicles to work with the right safety and functional level for 24/7 availability (e.g. harsh weather conditions) hinder their deployment, along with the lack of a harmonized regulatory framework.
Against this background, AWARD will develop and enable a safe autonomous transportation system in a wide range of real-life use cases in a variety of different scenarios. This encompasses the development of autonomous driving system (ADS) capable of handling adverse environmental conditions such as heavy rain, snowfall, fog. The ADS solution will be based on multiple sensor modalities to address 24/7 availability. The ADS will then be integrated into multiple vehicle types used in low-speed areas.
Finally, these vehicles will be deployed, integrated and operated in a variety of real-life use cases to validate their value in the application and identify any limitations: forklift (un)loading in warehouses and industrial plants, hub-to-hub shuttle service on open road, automated baggage dispatching in airports, container transfer operations and vessel loading in ports.
Logistics operations will be optimized thanks to a new fleet management system that will act as a control tower, gathering all information from subsystems (vehicles, road sensors, etc.) to coordinate the operations and protect vulnerable road users. This work should then enable commercial exploitation of the technology and policy recommendations for certifications processes.
The 29 partners The members, from 12 different countries, will work together for the next three years. They are leading companies and innovative, growing ones recognized for their real-world applications and expertise, as well as research organisations. This maturity and mix paves the way for the replicability and sustainability of project results.
In AWARD, ENIDE will lead communication and dissemination strategy and tools allowing the
project to effectively engage stakeholders, demonstrating the results of the project, as well as exploitation and innovation activities in order to facilitate the adoption of the project’s results.
Additionally, ENIDE will contribute to the impact assessment of the pilot projects and to the study of new business models and regulatory frameworks.
Finally, ENIDE will have a supportive role in testing methodology and evaluation work package.