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Russia to Unveil Driver-Less Trucks in 2018 World Cup

Published On Oct 29, 2015By Tushar Vijay

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich recently announced that the country would be showcasing newly developed self-driving trucks when it hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Over the past two years, a furious race has sparked between manufacturers to build self-driving vehicles. Each company plans to test and imbibe special features that no other rival could. This race has been taken on by leading marques in the auto realm. In October, Japan based Toyota announced that it would make self-driving cars available by 2020. Daimler recently made a public show of its self-driving truck as it was being tested on German road. Other major brands such as Honda, Tesla Motors and BMW are also conducting tests for their own versions of autonomous vehicles in California.

In Russia, two major companies are competing for the self-driving crown. One is the government-owned Kamaz, which has been making vast strides in its owndriver-less truck project. The other one is the Gaz Group, an automotive conglomerate. Both these firms claim that they will be able to unveil the completed project in three years if they receive funding from the government. Elena Matveeva, vice-president of the Gaz Group, said: “We started developing our remote-controlled vehicle project based on cars produced by the Urals Automotive Plant, and provided that some government assistance is available we will be able to develop this project further and get a vehicle with full-fledged remote control and self-driving capabilities by 2018.”

Meanwhile, Kamaz has received funding of nearly $4.6 million from Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science. The brand is embarking on the project with the help of software major, Cognitive Technologies. Olga Usova, president of Cognitive Technologies, claims that the company will bring out its first driver-less truck from its factory in the Russian city of Naberezhnye Chelny. “Our driverless KAMAZ truck is currently capable of performing the more simple maneuvers — turns, U-turns, moving in a serpentine pattern, stopping in front of obstacles,” said Ms Usova.

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