The autonomous truck – aimed at the mining transportation sector – is part of an R&D project that Volvo Trucks has been working on with Saab and its wholly owned technology consulting company Combitech.
“The Volvo Group has been conducting research into autonomous vehicles for several years and we are delighted to have developed a solution that we believe will ultimately revolutionise the mining industry,” states Volvo chief technology officer Torbjörn Holmström.
“We expect to be able to significantly increase our [mining] customers’ productivity while at the same time improving fuel efficiency and safety,” he adds.
The new truck, which Volvo says has been fully fitted out as a construction vehicle, navigates and operates entirely autonomously both above and underground.
Holmström says it uses sensors and GPS technology to read its surroundings, navigating fixed and movable obstacles while gathering data via its transport system to optimise its route and traffic safety.
This is one of several Volvo Group is research projects currently underway to develop and test autonomous trucks.
Holmström says the aim of these projects is to create sustainable transport solutions and improve traffic safety, which benefits both the customer and society as a whole.