Volvo Trucks has revealed that its autonomous vehicle Vera has been given a “first assignment”, forming part of an integrated solution to distribute goods around the world.
The electric and connected solution, which was first unveiled in 2018, will be utilized as part of a new collaboration between Volvo Trucks and logistics service provider DFDS.
According to a statement, the purpose of the two companies’ cooperation is to enable a connected system for the continuous flow of goods, from DFDS’ logistics centre to an APM Terminals facility in Gothenburg.
Following their arrival at the terminal, those goods will be shipped to various destinations internationally.
A recent Port Technology technical paper from Kalmar looked at automated terminals and self-driving cars
Vera, a system designed for repetitive assignments in logistics centres, factories and ports, is well suited to travelling short distances and moving large volumes of goods with a high level of precision.
Ultimately, Volvo Trucks aims to build a connected system consisting of several Vera vehicles monitored by a control tower, developing an efficient and sustainable supply chain that is responsive and flexible to changes in demand.
Mikael Karlsson, Vice President, Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks, commented: “Now we have the opportunity to implement Vera in an ideal setting and further develop her potential for other similar operations.
Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS, said: “We want to be at the forefront of connected, autonomous transportation.
“This collaboration will help us develop an efficient, flexible and sustainable long-term solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates, benefitting our customers, the environment and our business.”
Before Vera becomes fully operational, the system will be developed further in terms of technology, operations management and infrastructure adaptations.
Mike Karlsson, Vice President, Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks (Credit: Volvo)
In addition to this, the necessary safety precautions will be taken to ensure autonomous transport which is safe and compliant with societal requirements.
Karlsson added: “Autonomous transports with low noise levels and zero exhaust emissions have an important role to play in the future of logistics, and will benefit both business and society.
“We see this collaboration as an important start and want to drive progress in this area. Vera may have a speed limit, but we don’t. Testing has already started and we intend to implement the solution within the coming years.”