At CPAC we develop technical systems for autonomous vehicles. This might include driver assistance systems that help the driver in a specific work situation, or being involved in developing completely autonomous vehicles. We have carried out several exciting development projects in collaboration with Volvo Trucks, for example for the Brazilian sugar cane industry.
What is your driving like?
A combine harvester and a truck are used to harvest sugar cane in the fields. This is a delicate balancing act. The truck driver must always maintain the same speed as the combine harvester and stay in the correct wheel track to avoid damaging the surrounding sugar cane. About four percent of the harvest is lost due to the human factor. Because each sugar cane plant has a lifespan of five to six years, this causes significant financial loss.
The right driver assistance system can utilise the vehicle’s entire capacity and improve driver conditions. In collaboration with Volvo Trucks, we launched a development project to design a vehicle capable of maintaining the optimal distance in the field with the help of new technology.
We developed a system that uses GPS to ensure that the vehicle follows a digital map, while modern gyro technology makes sure that the vehicle never deviates more than 25 mm from the pre-programmed route. The driver can still accelerate and brake, but no longer has to concentrate on steering. This provides a better work environment and improves the driver’s performance of other tasks.
Autonomous vehicles are still in an embryonic stage of development. We are breaking new ground every day.