DeepWay brings autonomous driving and Italian style to heavy trucks

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DeepWay, a Baidu-backed company, has released details of the Xingtu, a heavy-duty truck equipped with an autonomous driving suite consisting of 11 onboard cameras, an infrared detector, five millimeter-wave radars and a lidar sensor. The result is a claimed capability of end-to-end autonomous driving and ultra-long range perception of up to 1km.

Designed by Pininfarina Shanghai, the Chinese studio of the renowned Italian design house, the Xingtu is claimed to be the first fully self-developed, intelligent, new-energy, heavy truck in China.

“Autonomous driving must use advanced driverless technology to create new products that offer the ultimate experience in order to achieve commercial success,” said Yunpeng Wang, vice president and general manager of autonomous driving technology at Baidu. “We aim to create value in real-life scenarios such as transporting people, delivery and life services. This new generation of vehicles is by no means just a modified truck – it’s a robot truck.”

The overall truck design has been optimized for efficiency, with the company citing simulation tests with the China Automobile Research Institute that gave a drag coefficient of .35, which effectively reduces overall energy consumption. With a full load of 49 tons, Xingtu’s custom-developed 450kWh battery pack gives up to 300km on a single charge, and can be charged in around an hour. DeepWay has also developed a quick-swap solution for the battery, which enables freight drivers to swap out their battery in six minutes.

Matteo Piguzzi, head of design at Pininfarina Shanghai, explained, “Heavy trucks are rapidly evolving to adapt in a quick-changing environment where new technologies allow smart and connected vehicles to safely help everyday duty. The sophisticated design of DeepWay introduces a new advanced language, where efficiency and aerodynamics work together to create an iconic exterior shape and the interior perfectly integrates all the new technologies in a very modern and relaxed space, where the duty of traveling is transformed into an intuitive and seamless new experience. Intelligent, connected, premium but practical, DeepWay Xingtu has a pure and iconic design language, marking the future of a new generation of heavy transportation.”

As of December 2021, DeepWay had completed dynamic testing of the truck’s autonomous driving technology and conducted interior and exterior clay reviews. The company says it will soon enter the product validation phase of development.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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