Iveco and Plus have got together with Germany’s dm-drogerie markt, Europe’s largest home and personal care retail company, and transport provider, DSV to start a semi-automated truck pilot in Germany. After several months of testing and validation, the program will use a new design of the Iveco S-Way that could make its way directly into production, equipped with Plus’s driver-supervised highly automated driving software, PlusDrive®. This brings the PlusDrive-enabled Iveco S-Way one step closer to the start of series production.

The test runs on the route between the dm distribution center in Waghäusel and the DSV distribution centre in Gernsheim. In the first phase, drivers from Iveco will be conducting the test and be accompanied by DSV drivers for training. After this, the trained drivers will be able to drive themselves.

By delivering commercial freight for a shipper customer, the program will enable the gathering of real-world data on the operational benefits of the PlusDrive-enabled Iveco S-Way. Benefits demonstrated in other global customer deployments of PlusDrive include reduced driver fatigue, improved road safety, and increased fuel efficiency which in turn decreases carbon emissions. These ultimately lead to a reduction in total cost of ownership for fleets.

Iveco Autonomous Truck Trial
DSV and dm are the first companies in Germany to test the semi-autonomous driver assistance solution in trucks in Europe.

The program will also validate the readiness of the latest-generation PlusDrive-enabled Iveco S-Way, which has been optimized for series production and delivery of high-performance automated driving features. In the optimized design, advanced sensors have been integrated and lidar is optional for the vision-centric perception system on PlusDrive. PlusDrive continues to deliver on the highly automated driving features of lane centring, cut-in handling, lane merges, driver initiated or system suggested lane changes, traffic jam assist, and nudging, all under the supervision of the driver.

DSV and dm-drogerie markt have been working together in partnership since 1986 and have been jointly developing advanced solutions within their supply chains for years. In 2021, DSV and dm jointly signed a declaration of intent to further promote innovative and sustainable projects. By testing this technology, both companies are once again demonstrating their successful partnership in their shared desire for innovation and future orientation.

“The start of this project will make a significant contribution to the comfort and safety of drivers and ensure that our supply chains run more smoothly and reliably. Our initial aim with this highly automatic technology truck is to work with our partners to gain insights into the potential that the use of these trucks offers for dm in operational implementation”, said Christian Bodi, as dm Managing Director responsible for logistics.

“A decarbonized future requires different technology innovations for different use cases. We are excited to begin the pilot so that we can assess through our own data and operations how Iveco and Plus’s state-of-the-art automated trucks can fit into our future fleet of sustainable transport options,” stated Peter Matthiesen, Senior Director, Head of Group Innovation and Truck Technology at DSV.

Marco Liccardo, Chief Technology & Digital Officer, Iveco Group said: “Data and feedback from customer pilots are key to helping us create innovative and sustainable products that customers value. Our collaboration with dm, DSV, and Plus on this pilot program brings us closer to realizing innovation-driven, safety-enhanced highly automated commercial vehicles. We are excited to empower fleets and truck drivers with the unprecedented potential of these next-generation vehicles.”

“This new milestone of having a production intent design of the PlusDrive-enabled S-Way ready for the pilot resulted from the ongoing tight collaboration between the Plus and Iveco teams. We are thrilled to demonstrate the capabilities and maturity of our autonomous driving software in this pilot for DSV and dm, and start preparing for series production,” added Shawn Kerrigan, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder at Plus.