Volvo Vera Electric Autonomous Truck (Video)
Volvo Vera Electric Autonomous Truck Video – UpHigh Productions
Vera is an autonomous vehicle that forms part of a larger system. It has the potential to optimise transport in highly-repetitive, short distance flows with large volumes of goods, such as ports, factory areas and logistical mega centres, where it offers better delivery precision and flexibility.
The sophisticated technology enables round-the-clock operations, while the electric drivelines means a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and noise levels. A cloud-based service connects each vehicle to a transport control centre, which continuously monitors and optimises the logistics flow.
In the near future, Vera will be further developed by Volvo Trucks together with selected customers in prioritised applications.
Combining automation, connectivity and electromobility open up for completely new possibilities to meet many of the challenges faced by our industry. In the development of Vera, Volvo Trucks has used its strengths in each of these three technological areas.
“We can see a boom in e-commerce, as well as overall global consumption and it shows no signs of slowing down,” says Mikael Karlsson, Vice President Autonomous Solutions. “The industry needs to find new ways to meet the increased demand on transports in an efficient and sustainable way. Therefore, new solutions need to be developed to complement what’s available today.”
Vera is designed for regular and repetitive tasks, over short distances, where large volumes of goods need to be delivered with high precision, such as in ports, factory areas and mega-logistics centres. This means that Volvo Trucks will not only be a provider of vehicles, but also of trouble-free transportation of goods from one hub to another.
As it is automated, the solution can enable round-the-clock operations, helping to create a continuous flow of goods with higher delivery precision. The electric drivelines can potentially result in reduced noise, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
“Our system can be seen as an extension of the advanced logistics solutions that many industries already apply today,” explains Mikael Karlsson. “It utilises the same infrastructure, such as standard containers and trailers. This is important since the global logistics system is not going to change overnight.”
Vera has been developed for a specific type of application but has the potential to expand into other types of applications in the future. The challenge is that every application is unique, and requires a unique solution, so partnering with customers will be an important part of the development.
“We’re unlikely to see a one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone, everywhere,” adds Mikael Karlsson. “It will differ depending on application and customer needs. Only by working closely together can we devise a customised solution that will harness the full benefits of these new emerging technologies, and Vera shows that Volvo Trucks is ready to undertake that journey. The full potential of the transport industry is yet to be seen.”
Vera combines the benefits of three big technological areas – automation, connectivity and electromobility – to create optimal flows in transportation and logistics operations.
The operation is handled by autonomous electric vehicles equipped with sophisticated systems for autonomous driving. They are designed to locate their current position to within centimetres, analyse what is happening with other road users, and then respond with high accuracy. Each vehicle operates at low speed to ensure maximum safety.
The vehicles are entirely electric with low noise levels. The driveline and battery pack are of the same type that are used in Volvo Trucks’ electric trucks.
Each vehicle is connected to a control centre. The transport control centre continuously monitors the progress of the transport and keeps an accurate watch of each vehicle’s position, the batteries’ charge, load content, service requirements and a number of other parameters.