AlbrechtConsult at mid-term presentation of the ANITA project

The ANITA project started on 01.07.2020 with the development of a fully automated truck that will perform automated transports on a short route between the container depot of DB Intermodal Services and the DUSS terminal (Deutsche Umschlaggesellschaft Schiene-Straße mbH) in Ulm.

Time for a mid-term review: in Munich, representatives of the project sponsor, politics, the press and the project team met at the MAN Truck & Bus test track to convince themselves of the progress of the project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK).

AlbrechtConsult supports the consortium, consisting of MAN Truck & Bus, DUSS, DB IS, Hochschule Fresenius and Götting KG in managing the project. After the project aFAS (Automatic driverless barrier vehicle in road maintenance), in which AlbrechtConsult was in charge of the project management, ANITA is another research project in the field of autonomous/automated driving that we accompany with expertise and competence.

  • ANITA Versuchstruck "Bertha"
    ANITA Versuchstruck "Bertha" (Foto: MAN)

It’s raining cats and dogs over Munich. Large puddles have appeared on the MAN test track, reflecting the dark clouds. The conditions are not ideal for Bertha, the pleasant green test truck that is about to demonstrate how it can drive autonomously along the track. Now the technology has to prove itself under difficult conditions: The sensors on the driver’s cab do not only have to identify obstacles scattered along the route – they also have to recognise and ignore the reflections on the wet road.

The journey begins. Bertha paces over the asphalt of the test track, passes the obstacles, and after a few minutes of driving, the truck literally slides to its destination. The safety driver in the cockpit was not required to intervene.

“The truck must be given eyes and ears. The basic automation technology for ANITA is ready. For fine-tuning, we are now going into direct comparison in practice to continue developing the system with a view to operational safety and added value for the future user,” said Dr Frederik Zohm, Executive Board Member for Research and Development at MAN Truck & Bus, at the mid-term meeting in Munich. “We are pursuing this approach consistently in to be able to offer autonomous trucks in terminal traffic as series technology by the end of the decade. Committed partners such as Deutsche Bahn, Götting KG and the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences are essential in this.”

“Rail and road combined – that is the green solution for the future of logistics. Working together here, we are making these intermodal transports grow. Digitalisation and automation help us to simplify and speed up the interfaces to the cargo train and the processes in the terminals,” says Dr Sigrid Nikutta, Member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bahn AG responsible for Freight Transport and Chairwoman of the Management Board of DB Cargo AG.

Michael Heinemann, Managing Director at DB Intermodal Services GmbH, is also convinced of the long-term benefits of the project: “In the future, our experience can be transferred to other terminals, ports and industrial facilities where autonomous vehicles will be used. Thus, there is enormous potential in this project.

Link: Homepage MAN Truck & Bus with a summary of the mid-term presentation including a video.