Volvo invites customers to test autonomous truck

Sweden’s Volvo Group counts down to the commercialisation of autonomous vehicles with a planned live demonstration of a mining concept developed with Saab’s tech subsidiary Combitech

The Volvo Group's system for fully autonomous heavy mining trucks follows the lead of several successful fully autonomous rigid dump truck implementations.
The Volvo Group's system for fully autonomous heavy mining trucks follows the lead of several successful fully autonomous rigid dump truck implementations.

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The Volvo Group has provided a demonstration of a driverless mining truck to its customers in a simulated mining environment, as part of its ongoing project to deliver commercially viable self-driving solutions to the industry.

The Swedish group’s auto-nomous efforts are also part of a cooperative research endeavour being undertaken with Saab tech subsidiary Combitech to deliver fully autonomous truck designed to navigate and operate both above and underground.

The autonomous system-equipped truck uses sensors and GPS technology to actively monitor its surroundings and navigate obstacles while gathering data through another system to further optimise its route and traffic safety.

The truck requires no manual supervision, and would form part of a total transport solution for the customer that automates 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, Volvo Group 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 is one of several research projects being carried out by the Volvo Group to develop and test various aspects of vehicular autonomy with the aim of creating sustainable transport solutions with improved productivity and safety that benefits both the customer, the environment and society.

Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of Volvo, commented: “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 — but our customers are already benefiting from the technology, as we apply the same principles to our safety systems.”

Indeed, Volvo is sufficiently confident in its autonomous system that customers attending the demonstration in Gothenburg, Sweden, also had the opportunity to ride in the self-driving vehicles.

 

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