Russia's largest truck manufacturer KamAZ will begin testing a driverless truck next week, the company said in a statement published Tuesday on its website.
The company announced the project last year, and pitched it as a means of making driving safer on Russia's inter-city road network. The scheduled test will be the first major step forward in the project, which should allow the company to field a working drone truck by 2020.
“About 10 types of [autonomous] movements are planned for the test,” the company statement said. These include driving by remote control, moving along a pre-set route and moving in a formation.
Another planned test will see the drone truck drive itself using only information gleaned from video cameras, as well as GPS and Russian Glonass navigation satellites.
KamAZ teamed up with software firm Cognitive Technologies and hardware firm VIST Group to modify one of its KamAZ-5350 trucks with radar, laser sensors, video cameras, communications equipment, and onboard control computers to turn the truck into a drone.
According to news agency Interfax, KamAZ hopes to develop three distinct product lines from this project, which each feature different levels of automatization — ranging from driver assistance to fully autonomous driving — over the next 10 years.