Volvo Trucks Testing Autonomous Vehicles

Logistics, with its trucks and, is undergoing automation, same as any other. One of the latest developments was the reveal of the Vera, Volvo’s autonomous electric vehicle, which the company revealed will be undergoing testing by delivering goods from a logistics centre to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This assignment is part of a partnership between Volvo Trucks and DFDS, a Danish logistics company. The Vera will be tested in real world application, which would, in theory, allow for a connected system providing a continuous flow of goods.

As for the autonomous electric vehicle itself, the Vera was designed to handle repetitive assignments in logistics centres, as well as in factories and ports, and is particularly suited to short distance travel, and transporting large volumes of goods with precision. An operator works in a control tower, located near the site, monitors the system.

Volvo VP of Autonomous Solutions Mikael Karlsson says that this is an opportunity for them to test Vera in a controlled environment, as well as develop its potential for other similar operations, which sites like might find useful.

The goal is to create a connected system built upon several Vera vehicles monitored by a control room, which should, in theory, enable a seamless and constant flow of good that can respond to needs of greater efficiency, flexibility, and sustainability.

This collaboration with DFDS is just a step towards seeing the Vera be used in real transport assignments on pre-defined public roads in industrial areas.

The vehicle requires further development and work in terms of technology, infrastructure adoptions, operations management and safety assessment in order to meet requirements for operating autonomous transport systems.

Karlsson stated his belief that autonomous transport, with their low noise levels and zero exhaust emissions, will be a key part of the future of logistics, to the benefit of both the industry and society at large. He describes the collaboration as a key first step towards that, and they want to promote innovation and progress in this particular field. He admits that the Vera has a speed limit, but the company shouldn’t, metaphorically speaking.