Suning Completes Road Test of Driverless Heavy-Duty Truck 'Strolling Dragon' in Automation Push
Tang Shihua
/SOURCE : Yicai
Suning Completes Road Test of Driverless Heavy-Duty Truck 'Strolling Dragon' in Automation Push

(Yicai Global) May 25 -- Jiangsu Suning Logistics Co, a logistics service subsidiary of Chinese retail giant Suning Holdings Group Co., has successfully completed the operation test of its driverless heavy-duty truck at Level 4 in Shanghai. It represents a new stage in the company's plan to offer fully-automated logistics solutions.

Suning Logistics conducted a field driving test for the driverless heavy-duty truck called "Strolling Dragon" in its Fengxian Park in Shanghai yesterday, reported online news outlet The Paper.

Based on the five-level classification system of automation of automatic drive, Level 4 (high automation) is only second to full automation with supporting automatic driving under all working conditions.

In the driving process, the air-conditioned truck with a load capacity of 40 tons is capable of automatically planning its running route, completing automatic and accurate parking, avoiding obstacles, delivering an early warning without delay for pedestrians appearing out of nowhere on the road, and then pulling over itself, the report said.

"The success of Strolling Dragon's self-driving tests is a groundbreaking accomplishment for Suning, and represents another step forward in our Online-to-Offline (O2O) smart retail strategy," said Zhang Jindong, Chairman of Suning Holdings Group.

'Superhuman Vision'

The driverless heavy-duty trunk supports secure autonomous driving even at the speed of 80 kilometers per hour. It can not only identify obstacles 300 meters away, but also navigate itself for emergency cut-off or detour for obstacle avoidance at a reaction speed of 25 milliseconds, faster than human drivers, according to Luan Xuefeng, deputy head of Suning's logistics institute.

Some other carmaker giants including Daimler AG and Tesla Inc. also work on the development of driverless logistics vehicles. "Compared with automated cars, Suning's self-driving trucks are closer to commercialization, thanks to less complicated working environments, as trucks used for delivery spend most of their time on highways," Suning said.

Strolling Dragon was developed by Suning Logistics in partnership with Chinese tech firm ZCO Design Co. and PlusAI Corp., which is based in Los Altos, the Silicon Valley, California, the US.

"Sunning will continue to collaborate with technology firms to build a smart logistics system in which self-driving trucks, automated vehicles and robots work seamlessly to do the delivery job for humans," the Nanjing-based company said.

The truck, equipped with multiple sensing devices, is in a good position to facilitate the driving test within the park and closed road sections. Yet there should be more of such devices installed on its compartment and tailstock for a real expressway driving scenario, said Edward Fu, vice president of engineering unit at PlusAI.

Editor: Mevlut Katik

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Keywords: E-COMMERCE , Retailer , AI , Driverless Vehicle , Road Test , Heavy-Duty Truck , R&D, Suning