Big picture: XCMG's unmanned fleet on China Expressway

By Dominic Ellis
XCMG's work on Nanjing-Shanghai Expressway seen as 'landmark event' in the development of intelligent highway maintenance and construction

XCMG has deployed its unmanned road construction fleet to complete the spreading and maintenance of the Suzhou Road segment of the Nanjing-Shanghai Expressway, the busiest highway in China.

The utilisation of what XCMG claims is the largest scale unmanned road construction fleet is being seen as a landmark event in the development of intelligent highway maintenance and construction globally.

XCMG's unmanned fleet consisted of 10 tandem road rollers and two large-width pavers, all under the unified command of the BeiDou satellite positioning reference station. Supported by technologies including the highly precise BeiDou positioning, inertial navigation and obstacle recognition, the fleet completed the scheduled tasks including driving, steering and rolling compaction.

"This unmanned road maintenance and construction project allowed us to reach the 'intelligent maintenance' stage. The inspection pass rate is much higher than that of traditional manual construction, and XCMG's unmanned technologies have excelled in construction efficiency and control accuracy," said Li Xin, Assistant GM of Jiangsu Xiandai Road & Bridge Co.

XCMG has applied its unique and exclusive continuous asphalt thickness measurement radar technology to this unmanned road maintenance project, which is way ahead of the traditional core measurement that continuously and accurately measures the thickness of the paved asphalt without damage, reaching a maximum depth of 120mm and guaranteeing a measurement error of ±1mm. The technology provides an accurate basis for real-time control of the paving thickness and improves paving accuracy and construction quality.

The unmanned fleet has met all construction and maintenance requirements through the grid format tests of thickness, compaction and friction coefficient. 

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