Volvo Trucks is now presenting a new transport solution consisting of autonomous electric commercial vehicles that can contribute to more efficient, safer and cleaner transportation. The long-term goal is to offer companies that need continuous transport services between fixed hubs a complement to today’s offerings.
Growing world population and increasing urbanization are creating challenges to solve environmental issues such as congestion, pollution and noise. Rising consumption, the fast growth of e-commerce and the widespread shortage of drivers put higher demands on efficient transport solutions.
“The full potential of the transport industry is yet to be seen,” said Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks. “Everything suggests that the global need for transportation will continue to significantly increase in the coming decade. If we are to meet this demand in a sustainable and efficient way, we must find new solutions. In order to secure a smoothly functioning goods flow system, we also need to exploit existing infrastructure better than currently. The transport system we are developing can be an important complement to today’s solutions and can help meet many of the challenges faced by society, transport companies and transport buyers.”
Volvo Trucks’ future transport solution is intended to be used for regular and repetitive tasks characterized by relatively short distances, large volumes of goods and high delivery precision. Transports between logistic hubs are typical examples, but additional use cases can also be applicable.
The operation is handled by autonomous electric vehicles linked to a cloud service and a transport control center. These vehicles are equipped with sophisticated systems for autonomous driving. They are designed to locate their current position to within centimeters, monitor in detail and analyze what is happening with other road users, and then respond with high accuracy.
The transport control centre continuously monitors the progress of the transport and keeps an accurate watch of each vehicle’s position, battery charge, load content, service requirements and a number of other parameters. Speed and progress are tailored to avoid unnecessary waiting and to increase delivery precision. In this way it will be possible to minimize waste in the form of buffer stocks, and increase availability. Vehicles that operate on the same route cooperate to create optimal flow.
In the near future, Volvo Trucks’ transport solution will be further developed.
The firm is developing a new type of transport solution for repetitive transports involving high precision between fixed hubs, as a complement to current solutions.
This transport solution consists of autonomous, connected, electric vehicles and a control center. The vehicles are used as tractor units and are compatible with existing load carriers/trailers. Propulsion is entirely electric with zero exhaust emissions and low noise levels. The driveline and battery pack are the same type used in Volvo Trucks’ electric trucks.
Access www.volvotrucks.com/vera to learn more.