The sleek, tractor-like vehicles have no cabs and are linked to a cloud service and a transport control centre. Volvo says sophisticated technology is used to locate their current position “to within centimetres”, and to monitor the vehicle and other road users.
The transport control centre continuously monitors each unit’s progress, checking battery charge, load content, service requirements and other parameters.
As well as around logistics hubs, Volvo says the solution could be ideal for high volume deliveries around ports and large factory sites.
“The transport system we are developing can be an important complement to today’s solutions and can help meet many of the challenges faced by society, transport companies and transport buyers,” says Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks.
Mikael Karlsson, Volvo’s VP for autonomous solutions, says: “Our system can be seen as an extension of the advanced logistics solutions that many industries already apply today.
“Since we use autonomous vehicles with no exhaust emissions and low noise, their operation can take place at any time of day or night. The solution utilises existing road infrastructure and load carriers, making it easier to recoup costs and allowing for integration with existing operations.”
Volvo Trucks says it will develop the solution with selected customers “in prioritised applications”.