Ford Trucks’ new F-MAX tractors with AVL and Ford Otosan “platooning” technology have successfully completed initial test drives. AVL and Ford Otosan also broke new ground in Turkey following the joint project’s platooning tests.

As the first phase of the joint R&D cooperation project is completed, the progress on heavy commercial vehicles will form a basis to making autonomous transportation come true not only in Turkey, but worldwide. Initiated last year as a research and development cooperation between AVL Software and Functions, AVL Turkey and Ford Otosan, the collaboration’s results will re-define trucking.

AVL Executive Vice President Rolf Dreisbach and Ford Otosan Assistant General Manager Burak Gökçelik joined the launch event of the platooning technology at the Ford Otosan Eskişehir Plant and stressed the collaboration’s vital role in developing and testing autonomous truck technology in Turkey. “This is an important milestone on the road to autonomous driving in heavy commercial transportation,” Burak Gökçelik explained. “This R&D project will enable us to advance smart mobility, reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption, and improve road safety. In the next phases of the project and long term we aim to develop SAE-Level 4 autonomous driving features and realize hub-to-hub autonomous highway transportation. We are pleased to be one of the few truck manufacturers in the world investing and working on autonomous truck technologies with a prototype product.”

Rolf Dreisbach, AVL’s Executive Vice President Global Business Development & International Operations Truck & Bus, added, “There are several benefits of platooning, such as the reduction of total cost of ownership and increased fuel savings. Very important to point out is also the increase in safety, which can be realized on all levels of autonomous driving. In this joint development project, we aim to increase autonomous driving levels of vehicles and, ultimately, reach a level where no human driver is needed behind the steering wheel. This means we can solve the driver shortage and make transports more cost efficient and safer. AVL’s knowledge of more than 70 years in powertrain development and global automotive engineering power has been used very effectively in this project.”