Ford Trucks’ new F-MAX tractors with Ford Otosan and AVL “platooning” technology have successfully completed initial test drives. Ford Otosan and AVL 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 Ford Otosan, AVL Turkey and AVL Regensburg in Germany, the collaboration’s results will re-define trucking.
Ford Otosan Assistant General Manager Burak Gökçelik and AVL Executive Vice President Rolf Dreisbach 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.”
Ford Otosan (Ford Otomotiv Sanayi A.Ş.) is a publicly traded company, in which Ford Motor Company and Koç Holding have equal shares. Established in 1959, it is the biggest commercial vehicle production center of Ford in Europe and employs almost 11,000. Ford Otosan is one of Turkey’s top 3 exporting companies and exports vehicles, engines and spare parts to 94 countries on five continents, worth 5.7 billion USD.
Established in 2008, AVL Research and Engineering Turkey is an engineering center of AVL with two R&D centers in Istanbul, Turkey, that develop mobility solutions with intelligent and advanced technologies, runs national and international R&D projects and serves customers from the Turkish and the global automotive industry.
AVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing technology of powertrains (hybrid, combustion engines, transmission, electric drive, batteries, and software) for passenger cars, trucks and large engines. AVL has more than 10,400 employees all over the world. In 2018, sales revenues reached EUR 1.75 billion.