The new driverless electric GAZelle NEXT is on test operation at Gazprom Neft’s Yuzhno-Priobskoe oilfield. The driverless electric GAZelle makes regular trips on the oilfield roads. The vehicle is used for test operation and specific business tasks, e.g. carry industrial cargos with other transport network members. Gazprom Neft will make a decision on the project’s future and regular operation of the autonomous vehicle in 2021 based on the current test results.
The autonomous electric GAZelle NEXT can be seen on the roads of the Yuzhno-Priobskoe oilfield, one of the largest in Russia. It is a real member of the company’s transport network carrying cargos between the facilities just like any other truck. There is a special app to control the vehicle and its operation: a remote operator received a request from the logistics center and sends the fully autonomous vehicle to pick up the cargo and bring it to the destination point on one of the routes.
It is obvious that the vehicle gives good response to all kinds of road situations and can work regular hours without any problems. The new vehicle with its technical characteristics and the software can be operated 24/7. There must be only breaks to charge the batteries for up to 120 km between charges.
GAZ Group in cooperation with the Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University developed algorithms and systems for safe driving on different roads, even on partially marked and unmarked ones, in typical winter conditions of northern Russia. The technical solutions were tested on the company’s in-plant roads and testing grounds and proved to be a success. Young university researchers and GAZ Group engineers supervise the testing process and procedures.
Vadim Sorokin, GAZ Group President:
- Test operation of the driverless electric GAZelle in real conditions is an important stage of our long story of designing autonomous vehicles. We are going to move forward in a more intensive way. Out next step is to work with our partners to design standard commercially viable and effective solutions to make autonomous vehicles part of the logistics chains of industrial and warehousing companies. This will help business cut its costs, streamline their transportation processes and make cargo transportation safer. Another important activity for us is to use the expertise and experience we have to integrate driver assistance systems in such GAZ Group’s serial products as trucks and buses.
Leonid Dolgov, GAZ Group Export Director:
- Driverless electric vehicles are the world’s future and the road to clean air and 24/7 zero-downtime safe and secure transportation services. This future is just behind the door. Today GAZ Group is testing its vehicles at home, in Russia. And then eco-friendly GAZ driverless vehicles can be seen on the roads across the globe. And we will make every effort to make it happen as soon as possible.
Sergey Dmitriev, President of Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University:
- Over the last few years our university and GAZ Group have implemented a new model for interaction between universities and industrial companies which is about training - as it was and still is the main element of our partnership - and about future-generation ADAS and smart vehicle projects. Our successful partnership as well as in-house IT expertise and competencies made it possible to create an innovative transport solution to improve performance of the transportation industry.
Dmitry Potapov, Director General of Gazpromneft-Snabzhenie:
- We have worked with our GAZ Group partners before on large-scale test-operation of the driverless GAZelle and tested it on typical transportation tasks. We believe the project has a great potential and we can say today that if scaled this solution can help us reduce transportation costs and make deliveries faster.