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VDL Automated Vehicles finalist Automotive Innovation Award 2017
Draft of lift-AGV with 40ft. container frame

VDL Automated Vehicles finalist Automotive Innovation Award 2017

30 January 2017

VDL Automated Vehicles is finalist for Automotive Innovation Award (AIA) 2017 in category technology. Nomination was awarded for AGV project at BASF Ludwigshafen.

VDL is in the running for the prestigious award, in the Technology category, with its AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle). The presentation of the biennial award for the best Dutch innovations in the automotive industry will be held on Monday 13 February 2017. Former prime minister and AIA jury chairman Jan Peter Balkenende will present the award at the Louwman Museum in The Hague.

Driverless driving in manned environment

VDL Automated Vehicles’ innovative, fully automatic vehicle is a further evolution of the existing VDL AGV, which transports containers in various port and container terminals. The new 16-axle vehicle with a length of 16.5 metres is the first vehicle in the world that no longer requires the surrounding area to be cordoned off or an ‘attendant’ to ride along. This vehicle is able to drive among other traffic independently, without such measures. This means that the VDL AGV makes driverless driving in a manned environment possible. The modular vehicle construction has been adapted such that with intelligent integration of computers, cameras, sensors and scanners a certified safety level can be achieved. This AGV fits with VDL Groep’s ambition to be the top specialist in the field of heavy-duty vehicle electrification.

The vehicle is also innovative in a number of other areas: it unloads the cargo (up to 78 tonnes) itself, and with a height of 1.15 metres has an extremely low design. As a result, the vehicle can easily drive under existing pipes in the local infrastructure. Testing of the first prototype of this VDL AGV, built at VDL Steelweld in Breda, will begin within several weeks. From July 2017 the vehicle will be put in service at German chemical company BASF in Ludwigshafen.

VDL Automated Vehicles

VDL Automated Vehicles is the collaborative venture between VDL Steelweld in Breda and VDL Containersystems in Hapert, both part of VDL Groep. The cluster's focus is automatic guided vehicles for the transport of goods. VDL Automated Vehicles stands apart from the competition through the modular design of the vehicles, which can therefore be configured to accommodate a specific customer environment or requirement.

Automotive Innovation Award

The Automotive Innovation Award (AIA) was created to give automotive-related innovations developed and implemented in the Netherlands a platform and greater visibility. This creates greater awareness and stimulates innovation and the implementation of those innovations within the automotive sector. The AIA is an initiative of RAI Vereniging, BOVAG, LeasePlan Nederland, AutomotiveNL and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. An independent foundation, Stichting Automotive Innovation Award is responsible for all the operational activities connected with the awards ceremony. The jury is composed of experts and professionals from the automotive sector and is headed by former prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende. The prize, which is awarded every two years, was presented for the first time in 2015 by Wim van der Leegte, former President and Chairman of the Board of VDL Groep.