Russian Belt & Road Robotic Supply Chains – Kamaz Tests Driverless Trucks In The Arctic

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Op/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Kamaz, the Russian and world-leading manufacturer of heavy- duty trucks, has been putting their new driverless technologies to the test in Russia’s far north, with no one in the driver’s seat.

Furnished with front and rear cameras as well as a set of self-driving robotic devices, the trucks were filmed cruising through the harsh Arctic terrain, with snow-covered oil fields and reindeer popping up in the background.

The trucks are seen slowly driving in a column and carefully maintaining social distancing between each other, doing so completely on their own with no-one at the wheel – just what’s needed when there are needs for self-isolating. The KAMAZ self-driving system appears to be smart enough to perform sharp turns and keep away from passing vehicles.

KAMAZ trucks are one of the few makes to compete in the Dakar Rally, generally considered the toughest off road challenge on earth. The vehicles depicted can be used either robotically or with a human driver.

Global warming is assisting in opening up the Russian far north, although temperatures can still be extreme and trans-Arctic travel remains dangerous. With China a major client state for Russian oil and gas, such driverless vehicles, which are also being trialed with container shipping equivalents, are certain to have a future in supply chains over challenging territories.


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