XCMG deploys new autonomous rollers to build China highway

XCMG Autonomous Road Rollers

Fleet of XCMG autonomous road rollers on Panda Expressway

Chinese equipment manufacturer XCMG says it has successfully tested its new autonomous asphalt compactor during construction of a new highway in China.

The technology for the autonomous machine was developed in a partnership of XCMG, Sichuan Railway Investment Group and Tsinghua University.

XCMG says its new autonomous road roller succeeded in tests at the end of May while working to build the Panzhihua-Dali Highway, also known as the Panda Expressway, between the cities of Panzhihua and Dali. Xinhua also reports that the project involves unmanned pavers.

A remote monitoring data center submits instructions to the autonomous machines’ onboard control system. XCMG says the roller is able to operate within 2 to 3 centimeters accuracy. It is “equipped with a real-time monitoring system that can sound warnings, conduct an emergency stop, enter and exit sites automatically and avoid obstacles,” the company says.

XCMG joined an agreement with the investment group and university in 2018 to develop autonomous road construction technology. The partnership focuses on smart transportation development strategies and development of 5G communications.

“Over 81 percent of Panda Expressway consists of bridges and tunnels, making it one of China’s key smart transportation infrastructure projects,” says Cui Jisheng, general manager of XCMG Road Machinery. “Enhancing road quality and safety through efficient construction and reduced cost were key priorities in our collaboration to develop an autonomous road roller. Our success here shows great promise for the technology’s industrialization and will accelerate the development of smart transport infrastructure.”