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Allison transmission for NHL autonomous truck

NHL's NTR100A rigid dumptruck

North Hauler choose Allison transmission for their new NTR100A autonomous rigid dumptruck

THE Allison 8610 ORS fully automatic transmission from the Allison Off-Highway Series has recently been specified by North Hauler Joint Stock Co. Ltd (NHL) of Inner Mongolia on their NTR100A autonomous rigid dumptruck.

Twenty of these trucks have been delivered to Conch Cement, the largest cement makers in China, where they will operate in demanding conditions, helping to address the shortage of drivers and eliminating human operational errors.

The new NTR100A truck is a response to increased demand for autonomous mining vehicles due to poor road conditions and tough working environments. It features two control modes: driver mode and autonomous mode.

In autonomous or driverless mode, the truck allows the Central Body Control Unit (CBCU) in the vehicle to receive instructions remotely from the Autonomous Drive Controller (ADC). In turn, the ADC sends instructions to the Allison Transmission Control Module (TCM), vehicle brake and other control systems.

The ADC replaces the human driver by monitoring road maps, barriers, loading and unloading positions. Allison’s fifth-generation electronic controls optimize the integration of the CBCU to the virtual shift selector function of the NTR100A in autonomous mode.

Rated at 160 tonnes GVW, the new NTR100A model is matched to the Cummins QST30 engine, which has a maximum power output of 783kW (1,050hp) and a maximum torque of 4,629Nm. It can achieve a top speed of 47km/h.

In addition to providing dedicated autonomous mode calibration for virtual shift selection, Allison have also developed I/O (input/output) packages for control of the autonomous mode, such as inhibiting reverse when the bed dump is hoisted.

‘Allison transmissions are highly regarded in the mining industry for their excellent performance, quality, reliability and increased uptime. Allison ORS transmissions only require their first maintenance after 18,000 hours,’ said Zhao Xinchun, manager of the NHL Customer Service Centre.

‘Autonomous mining trucks will be the future trend and the application of Allison transmissions in this area is progressing very well. We look forward to further co-operation and a satisfactory outcome in the field of self-driving vehicles.’

Chen Jing, deputy managing director for Allison China sales, said: ‘Designed to match the most severe conditions, the Allison 8610 ORS delivers consistent torque and provides more power to the wheels. It offers dumptrucks better control and manoeuvrability on loose soil, while enhancing traction on uphill and downhill grades.

‘Armed with shift energy management, this not only improves transmission durability and overall performance, but also contributes to the entire vehicle’s fuel economy. With its prognostic functions, the end-user will be informed on the maintenance schedule well in advance, thus preventing major transmissions failures.’

Allison fully automatic transmissions with Continuous Power Technology are built to perform in the toughest conditions. They are said to accelerate faster, providing 14% higher average speed than a manual or automated manual transmission, whilst Allison’s proprietary FuelSense 2.0 software has tailored shift-points, allowing fleets to balance and improve fuel economy and performance, according to the specific needs of the duty cycle.

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