On the average, 14,000 cars pass the open sections of the Central Ring Road (CRR). Since the launch of the new for Russia Free Flow toll system on the CRR, more than 11 million road payment transactions were made. The prospects of introduction of this system and other CRR elements as a “smart road” became a topic of discussion of representatives of Avtodor State Company, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and National Telematic Systems (NTS) concern.
Experts of Avtodor State Company explained the possibilities of the Central Control Room on the CRR. Based on the NTS technology, it offers a barrier-free toll road payment on Free Flow network sections, system of automated control and traffic video analysis, display panels with topical information for drivers, and infrastructure for wired and unmanned vehicle traffic.
When wired, “smart road” information system exchanges data with the car transponder and the driver's mobile app. For personal car owners, it offers an acceleration due to barrier-free toll payment and quick response of road services and Road Traffic Inspectorate in case of any accidents all along the highway. What concerns commercial carriage, the opportunities the road provides are even wider, allowing to control cargo movement, forecast the arrival and prepare the warehouses to accept the goods.
Unmanned “smart road” infrastructure will support autonomous driving systems and transfer complete location, condition and battery data to the Central Control Room. This data will be used to monitor the routes of cargo, conduct remote diagnostics and schedule the unmanned device charging along the route.
The emergence of unmanned traffic infrastructure on the roads will allow introducing the new generation of logistics services.
Evocargo held a presentation of smart CRR infrastructure offering a service for cargo carriage automation on the “smart roads” using unmanned trucks.
The Company unveiled its production Evo-1 electric truck with the capacity of 1.5 tons and up to 250 kilometers of travel. The novelty currently possesses the fourth autonomy level, potentially aiming for the fifth, the highest one. In 2021, the Company plans to present a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
Evocargo is currently finalizing the larger version of the vehicle – mainline unmanned device Evo-3 working on hydrogen fuel cells with the capacity of 40 tons and up to 1,000 kilometers of travel will start taking cargo along the “smart roads” in 2023.
“We plan to cover North-South and West-East with “smart roads” and create expressways. The State Company is the cornerstone of the highway road infrastructure in Russia for people and cargo, and digital technologies are a must here, among other reasons, to provide for comfort and safety of interregional travel,” stated Georgy Chicherin, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Avtodor State Company.
The experience of CRR operation will be used for the current and future transport arteries of Russia.
“Smart road” elements will be introduced on M-12 Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod – Kazan, Kazan – Yekaterinburg, South-Eastern Expressway (Ufa – Togliatti – Saratov – Volgograd – Krasnodar), Southern Cluster Project, as well as on the routes of international logistical projects passing Russia – North-South and West-East transportation corridors.
CRR project 336.5 km long is a part of international transportation corridors. It is planned to finalize it in the summer of 2021. It is the first road in Russia designed for wired and unmanned vehicles. For more than five months, on 200 kilometers of the road, from M-11 Neva to M-4 Don Highways, a new Free Flow barrier-free toll system has been working. It is a novelty for Russia, added Mr. Chicherin.
To gain the experience of actual unmanned devices operation on the public roads, Aleksandr Morozov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, offered to subject the unmanned trucks to an experimental legal mode applied to unmanned taxi cabs since 2018. In addition, Deputy Minister ordered to form the list of key components for localization of unmanned car production in Russia including microchips, electrochemical engines working on hydrogen fuel, and traction electric motors.
“We perceive the car industry as a very important market, with car electronics cost growing annually. Today we see a car turning to a gadget instead of simple means of transport – a high-tech, autonomous, safe, efficient and environmentally safety gadget. Russia may well become the leader of unmanned vehicle production. It will allow us to use all the benefits of our geographic location and territory,” stated Vasily Shpak, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
“We have introduced the first intellectual road for all kinds of transport in the world at a production scale. It supports traditional cars, wired cars and unmanned transport of the fourth and fifth level of autonomy. This is the first public road system of this class in the world. “Smart roads” is a high-tech product with a large export potential, and it will become more and more in demand globally. NTS solutions are already popular in India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Columbia, but it was Russia that managed to achieve the highest range of possibilities for the smart road infrastructure of the new generation,” states Aleksei Nashchekin, Director General of NTS.
A “smart road” is initially designed for unmanned vehicles. The Central Control Room obtains live information on the position of unmanned devices, their technical and charge states. Operators may adjust the route of unmanned vehicles as needed, for instance, direct them to the nearest charging station.
Unmanned vehicle infrastructure has already interested autonomous vehicle companies: Evocargo plans to launch a logistic service using unmanned electric trucks on the “smart roads”.
Andrey Bolshakov, Evocargo Director General, has introduced a production copy of Evo-1 electric truck with the capacity of 1.5 tons and up to 250 kilometers of travel. The car has the fourth level of autonomy, potentially aiming for the fifth, the highest one. In 2021, the Company plans to present an extended range hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
“Evocargo is a principally integrated logistics service. We are not an car manufacturing company. We provide full-cycle transport services for unmanned traffic and “smart roads” infrastructures,” explained Andrey Bolshakov, Evocargo Director General.