Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), Traft transport company and Evocargo Company have agreed to carry out a pilot operation of the EVO-1 unmanned trucks on MMK’s site. MMK plans to start testing the remotely controlled vehicles in May-June this year.
A test run of unmanned EVO-1 trucks at the test centre in Moscow took place in March of this year. A fleet of three EVO-1 unmanned trucks moved autonomously at a set speed, independently tracking road signs and road markings. Human intervention was limited to pressing the start button on a panel on the side of the vehicle. No shortcomings were identified during the test run, and all participants were satisfied with the results and expressed confidence in successful future cooperation.
Project participants held a round table to discuss issues related to the organisation of unmanned trucks permanently moving around MMK's site. For example, a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the project is the preparation of the area through which the unmanned vehicles will travel - road markings, signs and especially equipped railway crossings will guarantee the successful introduction of autonomous vehicles at the plant.
Innovation in logistics is part of MMK's long-term development strategy towards digital transformation. Unmanned trucks are an important component of efficient logistics processes. The use of autonomous vehicles will enable MMK to reduce the risks and costs of transportation, making it safer and, very importantly, more environmentally friendly, since the vehicles are powered by electric traction.
Before the main launch, the parties will have to resolve some organisational issues and come to final agreements on the project. Based on the results of the pilot operation, a decision will be made on the further use of autonomous transportation in MMK subisidiaries.
Artur Muradyan, CEO of Traft, said: "This project would not have been possible without the implementation of Evocargo's advanced technology. For our part, we finalised the Traft.online customer service, which made it possible to integrate it with the unmanned truck order pickup system. Such solutions will soon become the new standard in logistics.”
Andrey Bolshakov, CEO of Evocargo, expressed confidence that "projects such as MMK's are bringing closer a future in which unmanned transportation will become the prevailing mode of freight transportation." According to him, "MMK and Traft are acting as visionaries in this project, contributing to technological progress throughout the industry by setting an example of how advanced innovations can benefit business. Other companies will soon follow suit."
Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) is one of the world's largest steelmakers and a leading Russian metals company. The company's operations in Russia include a large steel producing complex encompassing the entire production chain, fr om preparation of iron ore to downstream processing of rolled steel. MMK produces a wide range of steel products with a predominant share of high value-added products. Implementation of innovative technologies is one of the main vectors of the company's development. In 2020, MMK produced 11.6 million tonnes of crude steel and sold 10.8 million tonnes of commercial steel products. MMK Group's revenue for 2020 was USD 6.395 billion, EBITDA was USD 1.492 billion.
Traft is the current haulier of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. In the future, the company plans to completely replace human-driven vehicles with autonomous vehicles at the plant. Transportation will be carried out using the Traft.online customer service which allows the company to control the system and track the trucks via GPS/GLONASS from a user's personal account. Such innovative solutions are a big step into a future wh ere logistics specialists will prefer green and safe unmanned systems that completely eliminate the human factor.
Evocargo specialises in the development and implementation of logistics vertically integrated services using electric unmanned transport of its own production. The company was founded by Andrey Bolshakov, who assembled a team of colleagues and like-minded people who have been developing products in unmanned transport for many years, including in joint projects. Evocargo is a team of several dozen young scientists, innovators and engineers with extensive experience in robotics, industrial computer vision and autonomous transport. The company is building an ecosystem for electric, highly-automated vehicles based on its proprietary hardware and software intelligent platform. Evocargo's electric unmanned trucks enable significant savings and level out the human factor when operating in closed areas (logistics centres, factories), as well as in long-haul transport, which is carried out in interaction with the smart road and connected road infrastructure (V2X) for fast, safe and cost-effective movement.