Danfoss delivers a fast track to level 3 autonomy with the new PLUS+1® XM100 controller

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The new controller allows machine manufacturers to integrate autonomous operator assistance, increasing machine productivity, precision and safety using the preprogramed PLUS+1® Autonomous Control Library.

Danfoss Power Solutions is introducing the PLUS+1® XM100 controller — its first autonomous hardware solution — to the market. The new controller is the first in an upcoming product family, which will support customers in integrating autonomy into off-highway applications like road building, specialty agriculture, material handling, ports and airports, lawn and turf care and mining.

“The road to machine autonomy is a journey of multiple steps with a lot of value to capture at each level,” says Andrej Bendtsen, product manager for controllers and autonomy at Danfoss. “With the introduction of the new XM100 controller, we now offer solutions for levels 1, 2 and 3 of autonomy. These products help our customers seamlessly integrate autonomous functionality and operator assistance into their machine design.”  

Leveling up

At level 3 autonomy, customers can experience heightened safety and productivity through the operator assistance enabled by perception sensors, such as LiDAR and radar. While the operator’s attention remains critical for overall safety, LiDAR and radar equip the machine to monitor the environment around the machine and automates key functions like steering, path navigation and precision tasks when conditions remain safe.

“In order to get to level 3 autonomy, Danfoss provides the key pieces you need to begin your autonomous journey. The PLUS+1® XM100 controller is the powerful hardware that runs our autonomy software toolset thanks to a powerful i.MX6-processor, advanced GNNS receiving and a 6-axis inertial measurement unit.” says Bendtsen.

“Secondly, the Autonomous Control Library provides the underlying algorithms for level 3 autonomy in pre-programmed function blocks saving the programmer precious programming time. The final piece is our PLUS+1® Partner Program that allows for full system plug-and-play solutions with leading LiDAR and radar manufacturers. Altogether, the complete Autonomy level 3 package helps machine manufacturers shorten the time-to-market when moving into autonomy and provide them with a strong partner to help them get there.”

Easier and safer machine control from the operator seat

With the new XM100 controller, machine manufacturers can design machines with increased productivity and precision in performing the key functions while maintaining operator safety and reducing operator fatigue.

“This is the first time we’ve put a computer on a vehicle, which made a significant difference in the machine’s computing and processing power. This allows us to put much more complex software into the vehicle,” says Peter Bleday, head of autonomous vehicles at Danfoss.

For example, in road building, the XM100 controller & ACL solution assists in keeping the machine to stay within precise lines on the road while operators maintain a visual on the surrounding area. In specialty agriculture, operators can do the same but within the lines of the crop rows.

“Would we be able to replace 35 years of experience behind the wheel of a soil compactor? No. But can we give you five to 10 years of experience under the hood of the machine for a brand-new operator? Absolutely. Can we make this brand-new operator a little bit safer? Absolutely!”