Snow clearing display shines light on autonomous tech

This week Mercedes-Benz has been showing off two self-driving Arocs as they successfully carry out automated snow removal operations in Germany.

The result of a joint project with Lab1886 – the innovation unit for new business models within Mercedes-Benz AG and Daimler Truck AG – the display showcased technology that could be used in sectors such as on-site logistics and agriculture.

The test took part under extreme conditions at the new large-scale test site in Immendingen and involved the two trucks tasked with keeping approximately 20 hectares free of snow, ice and water, even operating through the night.

Automated snow removal is one of many applications of AXYARD, the technology product jointly developed by Lab1886 and Daimler Trucks.

The name AXYARD stands for automated solutions (A=automated) that are used in various use cases (X) in closed terrain (YARD).

AXYARD’s approach is to automate Mercedes-Benz trucks by equipping them with sensors and ECUs. This allows them to complete predefined routes on closed terrain and be digitally controlled and monitored via a central control system – completely driverless.

Susanne Hahn, Head of Lab1886 Global, said, “With AXYARD, we offer an innovative complete solution for commercial customers.

“We help them to optimize processes on their premises and to make their operations more efficient. The highlight is the wide range of applications for the technology. Whether in port and storage operations or in large-scale agricultural operations, to name but two examples, the use of AXYARD increases productivity.”

In addition to the use in the snow in Immendingen, automated trucks from Mercedes-Benz have also been reliably helping to harvest sugar cane in everyday use in the Brazilian sugar cane harvest since 2018.