Autonomy Now!

Volvo kickstarts the future of commercial transport.

Volvo Trucks has just signed a landmark agreement with Brønnøy Kalk AS in Norway to provide its first commercial autonomous solution transporting limestone from an open pit mine to a nearby port.

The solution for Brønnøy Kalk AS consists of limestone being transported by not only one but six autonomous Volvo FH trucks on a five kilometer stretch through tunnels between the mine itself and the crusher. Tests of this solution have been carried out successfully and will continue throughout 2018 to become fully operational by the end of 2019.

This is not only a turning point for the whole industry from a technological point of view, because rather than purchasing autonomous trucks, Brønnøy Kalk is buying a transport solution – specifically the transport of the limestone between the two hubs and Volvo gets paid per tonne delivered. The global transport needs are continuously changing at a very high pace right now. The industry is demanding new and advanced solutions and Volvo clearly wants to be the leader of the development in this area of products and services.

“This is an important step for us,” says Raymond Langfjord, Managing Director of the mine. “The competition in the industry is tough. We are continuously looking to increase our efficiency and productivity long-term, and we have a clear vision of taking advantage of new opportunities in technology and digital solutions. We were searching for a reliable and innovative partner that shares our focus on sustainability and safety. Going autonomous will greatly increase our competitiveness in a tough global market.”

Volvo once again get ahead of the game by reaching this point where they can safely introduce those autonomous solutions. By working in a confined area on a predetermined route, they'll be able to find out how to get the best out of the solution and tailor it according to specific customer needs.

I think this could very well be the beginning of a completely new chapter of commercial transport. Considering this big leap into the future, the Vera concept feels like being just around the corner.

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Source: Volvo Trucks

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Comments (9)

  • I really think that is a great place to develop these vehicles. Don't you think a computer should at least be capable of folding our clothes and mowing our yard before we set it loose on out streets?

      1 year ago
    • You're right. Thinking of it, not having to do any household work is around my ideal vision of the future!

      The problem maybe is folding clothes and mowing the yard (but also transporting stone) usually don't get as much publicity as let's...

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        1 year ago
  • I think it makes a lot more sense to introduce autonomous technology into commercial transport than into our personal cars; if Volvo doesn't demand some huge money for that service it probably pays off for them indeed

      1 year ago
    • Well I don’t think they charge a fortune at the moment. They‘re probably happy to get together with customers as partners to develop all of this further - the big money will come eventually.

        1 year ago
  • It does look a bit ghostly though if there ain't nobody sitting in these things. Wouldn't you say so? 👻

      1 year ago
    • Yeah, especially truck drivers are probably staring at this like they've seen a ghost... (no offense to truck drivers, I actually respect them)

        1 year ago
    • Sure, autonomous technology will most likely have a drastic impact on the labour market. But as Martin Luther King said: „...whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward!“ Progress can be frightening, but but for me it’s always better...

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        1 year ago
  • I couldn't give a fat rat's behind about autonomous vehicles. The priorities of theses scientists astound me sometimes. I mean, where's my kitchen appliance amalgamation that can refrigerate my groceries, move them to the oven/airfyer/microwave to cook and then accept and move the dishes to be washed and stack them cleanly to simply be put away?! There are much more important tasks that automation could do; driving is not something I would be willing to give up.

      1 year ago
    • Good point. Well for a start I guess these developments are unbelievably expensive and the automotive industry is one of the biggest industries if not the biggest in the world. So they are the one's with the money and the engineers to drive...

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        1 year ago
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