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SCA Notes Successful Investment in Autonomous Forestry Machines

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SCA (Deerfield, Ill., USA) announced this week that it is participating in a comprehensive project to develop autonomous forestry machines. The goal is to make things easier for operators and ultimately to be able to control forwarders from an office.

The forest industry is now entering into the development of automated work tasks. With the Auto2 project, the forest industry wants to use the technology to develop autonomous forwarders the machines that carry the harvested timber to the forest road.

Auto2 will begin by focusing on the machines themselves, giving them the capability to plan their driving, move through the terrain and make sure that there is a safety zone around the machine so that no one is injured.

"The long-term vision is entirely self-driving machines, but I hope that we’ll see short-term effects with the system that make it easier for operators to do a good job. It can be compared with a self-driving car someone still needs to sit in it but does not need to actively steer," explains Magnus Bergman, head of technology and operational development at SCA, and continues:

"The area of autonomous vehicles is exciting, but also a tough development area because the forest environment is very complex. A major and important question is of course the safety aspects, because the harvesting area isn’t enclosed. What happens, for example, when a person or an animal enters the work area? Such issues and many more need to be resolved. But the Swedish forest industry leads the world in developing equipment for harvesters and forwarders, so I really believe in this."

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