AWARD H2020 – Start of test operation for automated freight transport in Gunskirchen, Upper Austria

AWARD - H2020 - Start of test operation for automated (hub-to-hub) freight transport in Gunskirchen

To further advance autonomous freight transport, the European Commission has awarded a grant of nearly €20 million under the H2020 Framework Program to a 29-partner consortium to develop and demonstrate autonomous commercial and transport vehicles in harsh weather conditions for use in real-world logistics.

Of this, 2.85 million euros in funding has gone to Upper Austria for the development of an automated hub-to-hub transport use case.

The aim of the project is to use an automated electric truck on a route of around 600m in Gunskirchen, between the two companies BRP-Rotax and DB Schenker Austria, where a conventional truck normally operates every day, which can also drive safely and efficiently in adverse weather conditions such as rain or snow.

The project is supervised by the Digitrans test region.

Start of test operation of the automated test vehicle in Gunskirchen

After the successful tests of Digitrans GmbH on secured test areas, the test phase in public transport will start in Gunskirchen on June 12, 2023. An automated electric truck with test approval and safety driver will then be tested and researched in real use on the approximately 600m long route between the two companies BRP-Rotax and the freight forwarder DB Schenker Austria.

Information on the automated test operation in Gunskirchen

Preparation phase of the test operation:

  • Mid-May: Start of construction of the traffic light systems
  • End of May: Completion of traffic light systems
  • Beginning of June: Commissioning of C-ITS traffic light system
  • From June 12: Commissioning of automated test vehicle
Automated vehicle operating hours:
  • June 12, 2023 – September 30, 2023,
    MO- FR: 19:00 -22:00 hrs.
  • From autumn possibly extension of the operating hours to daytime operation.

Ongoing images on the AWARD project

Information about the C-ITS traffic light system with a two-way communication between the infrastructure and the automated vehicle.

To ensure safe automated driving, the research vehicle will be equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and the associated hardware and software. In addition, the vehicle will be networked with the surrounding infrastructure. For example, the weather station or the entrance and exit gates of the two company sites. The automated vehicle thus receives all important information about its surroundings.

Particularly unique are the 2 traffic light systems with C-ITS interface in the area of the “crossing Grünbachtalstraße – Kieswerkstraße” and the “crossing Blockstraße – Mendelweg” in Gunskirchen. For the first time in Austria, these C-ITS traffic light systems enable bidirectional communication between the vehicle and the infrastructure. C-ITS stands for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems.

With the help of this technology it is possible that the vehicle, even before it comes to the intersection with the traffic light control, can register there and let know where it is and when it will reach the intersection. The exchange of information between the infrastructure and the vehicle makes it possible to anticipate complex traffic situations and react to them in a timely and safe manner.

Current pictures of the test operation in Gunskirchen, Upper Austria

Skizze - Use Case Gunskirchen - Autpmatisierter Gütertransport

An automated electric truck with test approval and safety driver for real traffic will be tested on the approximately 600m long outlined road section from June 12, 2023. © DigiTrans GmbH

Automatisiertes Versuchsfahrzeug KAMAG ePM

The automated test vehicle, an electric truck from KAMAG, with additional sensor technology © EasyMile

Why is the AWARD project - automated (hub-to-hub) freight transport important for the Upper Austrian location and Gunskirchen?

Autonomous commercial vehicles can improve the safety and efficiency of freight transport and make vehicle operation more comfortable. Furthermore, this technology represents a promising approach to solving the prevailing shortage of drivers in the logistics sector. Particularly positive effects can be expected in the area of automated hub-to-hub transport. For example, in terms of efficiency, flexibility and sustainability.

The automated hub-to-hub use case in Gunskirchen is intended to serve as a lead project and model for other use cases, both in Upper Austria and internationally. It should contribute to the accelerated introduction of innovative, networked and autonomous freight transport solutions with automated commercial vehicles and autonomous transport shuttles in Europe and around the world. Above all this project should further strengthen Upper Austria as a business location and further establish its pioneering role in the field of research and development of automated freight transport.

About the AWARD project - Hub-to-Hub Use Case for Automated Freight Transport

In a practical use case in Upper Austria, the two companies BRP-Rotax and the freight forwarder DB SCHENKER, as well as the project partners AIT, the Logistikum of the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences, LCM, and AustriaTech, are researching and gathering experience on a public transport section with an automated transport vehicle for a hub-to-hub logistics application that is suitable for everyday use and independent of weather conditions in order to make automated freight transport a reality.

On a route of about 600 m, where a conventional truck normally runs every day, a driverless electric truck with test approval is to run hub-to-hub between the companies by 2023 – regardless of whether it is raining, snowing, sunny or foggy.

The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 101006817.

The content of this website reflects only the author’s view. Neither the European Commission nor the INEA are responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

You might also be interested in

Further Insights

Do you have any questions about the autonomous transport of the future?

We advise you!