First unmanned KAMAZ vehicle may appear on Russia’s streets. Source:Press photo
Russia plans to unveil trucks that will drive (manoeuvre) themselves when it hosts the FIFA World Cup in summer 2018. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich made this interesting announcement at the STS Forum in Kyoto, Japan, earlier this month. What exactly the vehicles will do during the event have yet to be specified.
Russia takes on the world
Russian car manufacturers have entered the race to build self-driving cars, and they plan special features that no competitor will offer. The playing field in this competition is already crowded by the titans of auto-manufacturing. In October, Toyota announced plans to bring self-driving cars to the market by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics. Daimler recently tested its self-driving tractor-trailer on public roads in a suburb of Stuttgart. Meanwhile, Honda, Tesla Motors and BMW are currently testing their driverless cars in California, one of the few places in the world where no regulatory restrictions exist for such vehicles.
There are two companies in Russia now working on self-driving vehicles; Rostec-owned KAMAZ, and the Gaz Group, a part of the Basic Elements industrial group that belongs to Russian aluminium tycoon, Oleg Deripaska. Both manufacturers have stated that they would only be able to unveil the vehicle in three years if “the project is supported by the government.”
“We started developing our remote-controlled vehicle project based on cars produced by the Urals Automotive Plant and, provided that some government assistance is available, we will be able to develop this project further and get a vehicle with full-fledged remote control and self-driving capabilities by 2018,” said Elena Matveeva, Gaz Group vice-president.
KAMAZ has already received around $4.6 million in funding from Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science. The company is developing its driverless truck jointly with Russian software developer, Cognitive Technologies.
Olga Usova, president of Cognitive Technologies, told RIR that the company was planning to produce its first prototype trucks at their factory in the Russian city of Naberezhnye Chelny. “Our driverless KAMAZ truck is currently capable of performing the more simple manoeuvres; turns, U-turns, moving in a serpentine pattern, and stopping in front of obstacles,” said Usova.
Human vision for a robot car
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