Volvo Trucks has, for the first time, publicly demonstrated the capabilities of its self-driving truck with the vehicle driving autonomously from one hub to another.
The demonstration is part of its development project exploring on how automation can contribute to increasing productivity, enhancing safety while also minimising the environmental impact. For the first time, the demonstration was showcased to a broader audience in conjunction with the Volvo Group Innovation Summit in Beijing on November 15.
The Volvo Group has been conducting research into autonomous transport solutions for a number of years. It has demonstrated concept vehicles for applications in confined areas like mines and quarries. In its next step towards the future, it is developing an autonomous concept truck for hub-to-hub transportations in semi-confined areas like harbours and dedicated lanes on highways.
This truck, based on Volvo's existing FH platform, navigates and operates entirely autonomously using Lidar and GPS technology for continuously reading its surroundings, navigating around fixed and movable obstacles while gathering data via its on-board transport system in order to further optimise its route, traffic safety and fuel consumption. The company claims this truck requires no manual supervision, but rather is part of the customer’s total transport solution that controls the entire delivery process.
“Although this technology may be years away from production, it will undoubtedly influence our future offering and has the potential to develop smart societies for the future. No matter what type of solution we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this applies to all our self-driving projects,” says Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO, Volvo Group.