KAMAZ Creating Artifical City In Russia To Serve As Testing Ground For Autonomous Vehicles

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The Russian commercial vehicle manufacturer KAMAZ has reportedly proposed the creation of an artificial city in the country to serve as a testing ground for the development of autonomous vehicles — thereby providing the country with an analog of other such systems currently in place, or being constructed, elsewhere in the world (Switzerland, Germany, etc).

The proposed project will reportedly cost around 5 billion rubles ($87 million) to develop, but would give companies in the country a means of refining unmanned vehicle navigation systems — which, considering the goals of some companies in Russia, would be very useful.

Image Credit: Russian Flag via Flickr CC

KAMAZ is reportedly aiming to develop roughly 20 different prototypes of unmanned vehicles for various different purposes by the year 2025.

The proposed artificial city would make use of models of various cars, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians — allowing for the testing of autonomous vehicles in complex and varying situations.

Green Car Congress provides further information:

The unmanned truck is based on the KAMAZ-5350 model with 6×6 all-wheel drive. It is being developed in cooperation with the Russian software developer Cognitive Technologies.

In order to launch an unmanned KAMAZ into commercial operation, it is necessary to change the law. Amendments to the law are planned for 2017, the same time when the pilot program should be launched on the roads of Tatarstan.

Sergey Nazarenko, the chief designer of innovative products for KAMAZ’s R&D Center, is confident that KAMAZ’s developments in unmanned vehicles can also be used by other domestic car manufacturers, as well as by enterprises that produce agricultural machinery.

Considering that drivers of heavy trucks in Russia are currently responsible for accidents resulting in the deaths of more than 2,000 people a year, autonomous trucks could (potentially) result in improvements to safety in that regard. Or at least that’s what the director of the country’s Department of Metallurgy, Machine Tools, and Heavy Machinery, says. Time will tell if autonomous vehicles are actually safer than human-driven ones. But here’s more indication that they are the future.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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