Oxford Robotics Institute

Arctic Trucks supported the Oxford Robotics Institutes’ pioneering autonomous drive technology research in the planets harshest conditions.

The Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI), (Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford) ventured to Iceland to conduct trials as part of ORI EPSRC Programme Grant research thread on localisation in challenging weather conditions.

ORI strategically mounted radar, vision and Lidar sensors on the roof of a specially engineered Toyota Hilux AT38 across some of the harshest conditions the planet has to offer.

With thirty years and over 290,00kms of experience driving expertly designed, specialised 4-wheel drive vehicles in extreme conditions. Arctic Trucks were a natural choice of expedition specialist for The ORI, who required an automotive partner, who could not only utilise their advanced vehicle engineering IP, but also their expedition expertise leading research projects through such environments.

Arctic Trucks have immense experience, producing vehicles which conquer extreme conditions, it’s what makes the road vehicles they produce so capable. Currently, both Toyota and Isuzu have models in-range which deliver performance achieved from polar experience brought to the road.

Talking about the expedition, Sune Tamm, Project Developer for Arctic Trucks commented: ‘’It was exciting to support the ORI; one of the world’s leading universities in critical autonomous technology research. Icelandic driving conditions can be amongst the harshest in the world and Arctic Trucks are thrilled to share the experience and see the potential benefit of the autonomous drive technology being tested by ORI.”

“We already use our expertly engineered trucks as a platform for mobile science projects in both polar regions, but we still find that some of the toughest conditions are here in Iceland´s ´backyard´ where we worked with ORI.”

All of the projects we support allow us to continually develop our own knowledge and experience which ultimately feeds through to the road vehicles we produce.

The team from the ORI took the trial to Iceland with the aim of gathering aspiration datasets with vision, laser and radar sensors in challenging weather conditions, moving ORI autonomy to off-road now that on-road is established.

Speaking about the expedition, Professor Paul Newman, Director of The Oxford Robotics Institute said; “The Oxford Robotics Institute were delighted to work so closely with Arctic Trucks in Iceland, on this ground-breaking research project.

Our objective was to collect data in the most difficult and harshest environments, including in areas totally inaccessible without the extreme off-road expertise and high mobility vehicles provided by Arctic Trucks. We had a very successful visit and are hugely indebted to the Arctic Trucks team for their commitment and expert advice about extreme driving conditions during our trip.

Our research is progressing well into developing new techniques to enable effective mobile autonomy operation in the most extreme environmental conditions. Already the challenge is paying off and we have seen a step change in what we can do with millimetre wave radar. Watch this spot for what comes next….”