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Volvo Vera: Future of Autonomous Transport Solutions

The Volvo Group is a Swedish company known as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, and many other engines. The company makes a lot of things, except cars, so it’s actually a different company that manufactures the well-known Volvo cars.

When it comes to the Volvo Group, the company has been working hard in developing autonomous trucking solutions over the past few years and has been included in many projects. One of the projects is Vera, a new electric, connected, and autonomous vehicle that the company has presented a while ago.

An autonomous solution to transport goods

Volvo Group, particularly Volvo Trucks, has developed its first autonomous vehicle. It was planned to form part of an innovative solution to transport goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden. The vehicle is called Vera and is a result of the collaboration between Volvo Trucks and the logistics company DFDS.

Volvo Vera

Mikael Karlsson, Vice President Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks, first introduced it back in 2018 as the future. The vehicle is designed for repetitive assignments in logistics centers, factories, and ports. Also, it’s ideal for short distances as it can transport large volumes of goods with high precision.

Through the collaboration with DFDS, Volvo Trucks’ goal is to implement Vera in a real application. The company wants to enable a connected system for a continuous flow of goods. According to Volvo, the plan is for Vera to travel from a DFDS’ logistics center to an APM Terminals port facility in Gothenburg for distribution across the world. The collaboration with the logistics company is the first step to implementing the vehicle as a fully functioning transport however it needs to be further developed.

Plans for further development

Vera has the potential to become the world’s leading autonomous containing-hauling cargo vehicle. Volvo Trucks aim to implement a connected system composed of more these vehicles that will be monitored by a control tower. This will enable them to provide a seamless flow of goods and better flexibility and sustainability.

Volvo Vera

Before Vera is fully operational, it needs to be developed in terms of technology, operations management, and infrastructure adaptations. Another important factor is to ensure that it meets all requirements as a safe and secure autonomous transport. As the autonomous vehicle is further developed and Volvo Trucks gains more experience, it could be used in other applications to improve the rest of the transport solutions.

Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS, commented on the collaboration with Volvo Trucks and said that Vera has the potential to be an efficient and sustainable long-term solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at DFDS’s gates. He added that Vera will benefit the business, the customers, as well as the environment as a whole. It might take some time to get to that point, but it’s interesting to see how this will develop and change logistics transportation in the future.

YouTube: Volvo Vera Autonomous Truck EV [Footage and Interview]

Photo credit: The images are owned by Volvo Group and have been provided for press usage.

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Simona Boskova
Tech Journalist