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DB Schenker tests automated swap-body transporter 10 July 2018

Driverless transportation systems already an important component of 3PL’s processes

DB Schenker is the world's first logistics service provider testing an automated ‘Wiesel’ at its site in Nuremberg. This vehicle manufactured by KAMAG has been developed to transport swap bodies at logistics yards and can move these autonomously. The ‘Wiesel’ serves to analyse and evaluate the automated processes. The vehicle has been developed for the use on Company grounds only, and won’t be deployed in public spaces. KAMAG and DB Schenker are cooperating to push forward jointly the innovation topic of automated driving.

The use of driverless transportation systems is already an important component of the Company’s logistics processes. The evaluation of the test phase will show how they integrate the system into its overland transportation system.

In the long term, the aim is to maximise the cost-effectiveness of automated swap-body vehicles and to match the turnaround time of vehicles manned by drivers. In comparison with regular swap-body transporters, potential benefits include reduced personnel costs, longer maintenance intervals as well as a resource-optimized operation.

The automated ‘Wiesel’ in Nuremberg was constructed by converting a standard swap-body vehicle. The automated operation of the ‘Wiesel’ reduces pollutant emissions and noise. In light of the increasing staff shortages in the logistics industry, the autonomous vehicle can also help alleviate staffing issues.

Moreover, using automated vehicles improves the overall safety level on logistics yards, where human error is considered the main cause of accidents. The very precise sensors help to minimise the risk of injuries and damages to the infrastructure. In terms of safety and thanks to the sensors, the vehicle can detect obstacles and stops automatically whenever necessary. Adding to this, during the tests executed by DB Schenker the vehicle can be stopped at any time by using a radio remote control.