WATonoTruck: UWaterloo autonomous truck for any application
The potential advantages of autonomous cars are significant including reduced mobility costs, accidents, traffic, and emissions. However, autonomous driving for passenger cars on public roads and mixed environments is extremely challenging and requires years and possibly decades to fully be implemented. These challenges are more manageable for trucks driven on specific routes, and more specifically in restricted areas such as airports, resorts, warehouses, mines and distribution centers.
WATonoTruck is an autonomous truck based on a new technology, “Corner Module”, developed at the MVS lab. The Corner Module (CM) is in fact an electric vehicle with one wheel! It has suspension, steering, drive, and brake systems along with a controller. The corner module design for a load capacity of 3 ton, steering range of ±35 degrees, and max speed of 80km is shown below.
Using the CMs, WATonoBus for any application and any body-configuration can be built simply by using any number of CMs, and our central controller and automated driving modules. CMs are space efficient and are bolted to any chassis/frame designed for any specific application. Some design concepts for the CMs are shown in the following figures. The MVS lab is currently building the flat truck below with a wheelbase of 5m and wheel track of 2.5m for testing and evaluation.