Commercial vehicle maker KAMAZ has proposed creating an artificial city for use as a testing ground for unmanned vehicles. The project will cost about $87 million dollars and will allow driverless trucks to move through traffic and complex intersections. Models of cars, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians will be placed on the testing ground in both stationary and moving patterns to test reactions from autonomous trucks as they pass through.

The city would be similar in composition and use to the artificial streets created in Switzerland and under construction in Germany (for Volvo and Daimler, respectively) and serve the same function. KAMAZ is developing an unmanned truck based on the 5350 model 6×6 in conjunction with software maker Cognitive Technologies.

KAMAZ plans to have a road-ready test vehicle for their automated vehicle program by mid-2017, just in time for the new Russian law allowing testing of autonomous vehicles. The automaker plans to have 20 prototypes of various types of unmanned vehicles in testing by 2025.

According to director of Alexey Mikheev, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade’s director of the Department of Metallurgy, Machine Tools, and Heavy Machinery, a safe system of autonomous driving will for the most part prevent numerous accidents and fatalities. Every year in Russia, truck drivers are responsible for accidents that kill more than 2,000 people.

KAMAZ is the largest Russian manufacturer of commercial vehicles. It includes more than 150 organizations located in Russia, the CIS and abroad, including 12 major automotive manufacturing plants. It has assemblers in Vietnam, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan. Its total number of employees exceeds 59,000.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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