VDL Groep takes care of autonomous transport of Aviko

VDL Groep continues to strengthen its ‘smart’ mobility position. VDL Automated Vehicles has developed an autonomous vehicle equipped with VDL E-Power that makes logistics processes smarter, safer and more sustainable. Aviko has commissioned the first VDL Mixed Traffic Transporter (MTT). Frozen French fries and other potato specialties are transported autonomously and environmentally consciously on the site of the potato processor in Steenderen, from production in the factory, en route to storage in the cold store. 
Today’s supply chains demand fully integrated sustainable logistics solutions. The generic autonomous battery-powered platform of the VDL MTT is available with a wide range of customer-specific load carriers and a battery charging system. The platform is linked to the desired superstructure to transport pallets, containers or paper rolls, for example. The MTT platform is operated by fleet management software that is linked to the end user’s logistics management system, via a special application (app) supported with full digital service and remote diagnosis.
At Aviko in Steenderen, up to 60 euro pallets per hour with frozen products are automatically loaded, transported and unloaded by an air-conditioned superstructure, replacing traditional manually operated truck-trailer combinations.

Safety and navigation system
One of the biggest innovations of the new MTT platform is the integration of VDL’s own safety and navigation system. Using data generated by sensors, the vehicle is not only guided over the intended route, but other road users are also anticipated. Apps developed by VDL analyse the routes to be taken based on drawings of the terrain. Applications are also used to monitor the vehicle’s performance and to remotely troubleshoot any malfunctions.
At Aviko, the data generated by apps is made available to the University of Twente and Arnhem Nijmegen University of Applied Sciences in order to further improve the performance of the deployment. This project was made possible in part by the province of Gelderland. 15 VDL companies have collaborated on the development and realisation of the VDL Mixed Traffic Transporter.

Supply Chain Director Gert-Jan Janssen Reinen of Aviko: ‘VDL helped us to find a safe, sustainable and innovative solution for our transport between the factory and our new cold store. Over the past two years in Steenderen, we have built the most sustainable cold store in the Netherlands. We have entered into a development process with VDL to find a safe and sustainable solution for transport between the factory and the cold store on our inner site. Powered by electricity that we generate with solar panels on the roof of the cold store, we can now transport our products “greener” and with less noise. A great step in Aviko’s sustainability ambitions.’

Confirmation and expansion
Senior vice president Edwin Willems of VDL Groep: ‘VDL is a frontrunner in sustainable heavy transport in the field of automated vehicles. Our knowledge and experience in the fields of electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving and mobility as a service, in combination with safety and design, are fully applied on this MTT platform. Since 2011, VDL has used more than 170 automated guided vehicles in the ports of ECT (Rotterdam), PSA (Singapore) and on the industrial sites of BASF (Ludwigshafen). The VDL Mixed Traffic Transporter that operates at our partner Aviko is the perfect further development of our position.’