Unikie is involved in the research of High Capacity Transport trucks

Unikie is involved in the research of High Capacity Transport trucks

Announcement Date: September 19, 2017

There are currently nine massive High Capacity Transport trucks operating on the Finnish roads with Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi’s special permits. Unikie is participating a University of Oulu HCT project which is expected to produce important results for the decision-making concerning the future of these giant vehicles.

Other current projects we are conducting in the automotive sector are expected to produce new innovations to help develop, for example, robot cars and large work machines.

HTC-combinations are vehicles which are larger than the currently permitted vehicle combinations of 25,25 metres, or 76 tonnes. These massive vehicles are granted exemptions for designated routes by Trafi.

The University of Oulu is studying an exceptionally massive over 3o-meter-long and 104-tonne-heavy HCT-vehicle owned by Ketosen Kuljetus Ltd.  The truck is transporting timber in Northern Finland from Inari to the Rovaniemi railroad terminal. The vehicle is equipped with various measurement devices which constantly send data for analysis.

The equipment includes, for example, a MoTeC data acquisition unit, a miniPC, and measurement sensors. In the initial stages of the tests, Helsinki University research video cameras were used to monitor the behavior of other road users.

The HCT projects also study matters such as how HCT vehicles affects the condition of the roads. By studying vehicles operating repeatedly on the same routes you can also identify the parts of the roads which cause most strain on the body of the vehicle.

Data analysis produce central information needed when making decisions on a national level on the future of these HCT vehicles.

Software developers join the field tests

The HCT project is led by Mauri Haataja, the professor of automotive engineering in the University of Oulu. Unikie has implemented a telemetry solution for transferring the gathered data to internet, as well as data processing software.

Unikie is also running a parallel project together with the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. That project concentrates on analysing the functions of various vehicles. In that project, too, a central factor is real-time data collection to a cloud server, and long-term availability of data.

– In trucks we can monitor the functions of the vehicle body both with the help of an accelometer and gyro sensors. If there is a rapid change in the values compared to long-term averages, the situation can be checked immediately, and possible major damage can be prevented, Arto Lehtonen, a specialist in mechanical engineering from Oulu University of Applied Sciences gives a concrete example.

Field tests show a new dimension of the project to software engineers.

– The project does not remain only on the computer screen, but gets put to a concrete frame when the software developer can participate in the field tests. This has really motivated the developers, Arto Lehtonen tells about the experiences in the automobile laboratory.

New Lidar innovations in near future

In Unikie’s own application development in the automotive sector, LiDAR laser radar technolocy holds a central position. LiDAR surveying method enables indentifying moving objects also in dark and extreme conditions, which is crucial for autonomous vehicles.

There is a need in many industries for LiDAR-based solutions which would be more intelligent and cost-efficient. Unikie software developers are constantly working on developing LiDAR services, and new innovations can be expected in near future.

Field tests are important when developing LiDAR services, too. In our latest LiDAR field test in Hämeenkoski we tested how vibration affects the resolution of a Velodyne LiDAR placed on a wheel undercarriage.

 

Image: Target of the study: the over 3o-meter-long and 104-tonne-heavy HCT vehicle owned by Ketosen Kuljetus Ltd, operating with the special permit by Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi.