The Volvo Group is set to showcase its self-driving truck for a broader audience for the first time ever.
The truck is part of a joint R&D project between Volvo Group and Saab’s wholly owned technology consulting company Combitech.
The project aims to develop a fully autonomous transport system solution that will create greater business advantages for customers, mainly in the mining industry.
This unique truck is a fully fitted out construction vehicle which navigates and operates entirely autonomously both above and underground. It uses GPS technology to continuously read its surroundings and is also equipped with sensors that enable it to navigate around fixed and movable obstacles while gathering data via its transport system in order to further optimise its route and traffic safety.
According to Volvo, the truck requires no manual supervision, but rather is part of the customer’s total transport solution that controls the entire production process.
“The Volvo Group has been conducting research into autonomous vehicles for several years and we are delighted to have already developed a solution that we believe will ultimately revolutionise the mining industry,” said Torbjörn Holmström, member of Volvo’s Group Executive Board and Chief Technology Officer.
“We expect to be able to significantly increase our customers’ productivity while at the same time improving fuel efficiency and safety.”
The truck developed by the Volvo Group is one of several research projects being carried out to develop and test various aspects of autonomous solutions. Last year, the Swedish carmaker launched driverless car trials in Australia, which will be followed up with autonomous driving trials in the UK next year.
Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of Volvo said the aim of these projects was to create sustainable transport solutions and improve traffic safety, which benefits both the customer and society as a whole.
“Automation is an exciting field of technology where advances are moving quickly. Solutions already exist and we expect to see more autonomous solutions in the future,” Mr Lundstedt said.
“But our customers are already benefiting from this technology today since we apply the same principles to our active safety systems.”