Vienna, Austria, April 26, 2022 – Ammann, PALFINGER, Prinoth, Rosenbauer and TTControl today announced their collaboration on application-oriented solutions as part of the now initiated Autonomous Operation Cluster (AOC). The multinational companies will jointly develop key technologies for autonomous operation elements for series production of mobile machinery functions and off-highway vehicles. The aim is to accelerate the development of advanced assistance functions through collaboration to ease operators’ jobs and increase productivity, efficiency and safety in a wide range of industries around the globe.
The AOC will address trends such as smart and autonomous operation of road construction equipment and specialized off-highway applications such as cranes, fire-fighting equipment and snow groomers. In these sectors, computer vision- and artificial intelligence-based solutions will enable precise detection of objects and processing of information from the surrounding environment. The resulting automated machine functions will support the operator, for example, by warning them of potentially dangerous situations and acting autonomously within clearly defined limits. Machine operators will be able to perform tasks more intuitively, quickly and safely.
The most important benefit of the cross-industry collaboration is the reduced development time by knowledge sharing. The partner companies contribute with decades of expertise from their fields to bring cutting-edge solutions to production. Industry-specific technological challenges are addressed by a dedicated developer community consisting of experts from all partners. As an enabler for autonomous operation functions, the AOC will focus on three development areas: robust hardware platforms, modular software components and customized application functions.
In the current year, the partners of the AOC will define a technological solution and develop a proof of concept and initial prototypes. Further application implementation based on specific use cases will continue in 2023.
Quote TTControl: „Together, we will lay the foundation for the next generation of automation and autonomy capabilities in the mobile machinery and off-highway industries,” says Roberto Ferrari, Senior Vice President Service & Operations at TTControl. “TTControl will support this groundbreaking endeavor with its advanced knowledge of electronic architectures and expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. With the synergies from this collaboration, we will develop essential building blocks for autonomous vehicles and mobile machinery that will significantly improve the productivity and safety of future off-highway solutions.”
Quote Ammann: “This technology will bring incredible value to the roadbuilding process,” says Tomas Kopic, Executive Vice President of Ammann’s Heavy Equipment Division. “There will be improvements in quality, and jobsites will be safer, too. The efficiency gains provided by the technology will improve sustainability – and the profitability of our customers.”
Quote PALFINGER: “Developing together common technologies and sharing critical computer visioning and AI capabilities within an advanced development environment will allow PALFINGER and all Partners of the AOC to increase speed to market and leverage synergies in the development of smart lifting solutions,” says Andreas Hille, Senior Vice President Product Line Management & Engineering at PALFINGER. “Following our PALFINGER strategy GO DIGITAL we are providing digital assistance and autonomous operating functions which maximize operational effectiveness, increase operational safety and generate additional value by seamlessly integrating our smart lifting solutions into the digital ecosystems of our customers.”
Quote Prinoth: “What’s great about this development is that it supports the operators in helping them make perfect finishes on the slopes,” says Martin Kirchmair, Head of R&D at PRINOTH. “Staff turnover in a team of snow groomer operators leads to an imbalance in experience. With the assistance and autonomous functions that we’re working on in the cluster, less experienced operators will be able to prepare ski slopes and courses at the highest level. This saves time and money for ski resorts and helps manage snow sustainably.”
Quote Rosenbauer: “With the development of autonomous firefighting equipment, we improve the safety of emergency forces and meet their increased safety requirements,” says Markus Schachner, Senior Vice President Product Development. “Additionally, we support our customers to handle different operation scenarios much more efficiently and precisely. As innovation leader of our industry, we want to share our knowledge and with this all collaboration partners will gain economy of scale required to develop Autonomous Functions.”