A British consortium led by Glasgow-based Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS) receives funding of £6.6 million (around €7.4 million) to develop an autonomous heavy-duty hydrogen-electric truck.
The consortium called Hub2Hub, which plans to start test drives in 2024 in partnership with the UK supermarket chain ASDA, has been selected by the Center for Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) as a recipient for the project, which is jointly funded by industry and government. Initially, two prototypes will be built. HVS had already presented the design of a technology demonstrator for a hydrogen fuel-cell truck in autumn 2022.
The Hub2Hub project will be managed by HSV together with Fusion Processing and the supermarket chain ASDA and is expected to require a total investment of £12 million. The public subsidy thus covers a good half of the project costs. The two planned prototypes will be capable of level 4 autonomous driving. One of the vehicles will be equipped with a driver’s cab, the other without. The autonomous operation will then be tested with the help of the ‘CAVStar’ driving system from Fusion Processing. Among other things, the vehicle can be operated remotely by a driver who is located in a control centre.
The partners do not provide any information on the planned hydrogen drive system. At the presentation of its 5.5-ton demonstrator in November, which might have been a foretaste of the 40-ton variants now planned, HSV stated that it was aiming for a range of a good 500 kilometres. As the name suggests, the Hub2Hub project focuses on transport routes between logistics centres. According to those involved in the project, these are particularly well-suited for autonomous driving modes.