The Volvo Group has unveiled an autonomous concept truck for hub-to-hub transportations in semi-confined areas like harbors and dedicated lanes on highways.
This truck, based on an existing FH platform, navigates and operates autonomously using Lidar and GPS technology to continuously read its surroundings, navigating around fixed and movable obstacles while gathering data via its on-board transport system in order to further optimize its route, traffic safety and fuel consumption. The truck requires no manual supervision.
"Although this technology may be years away from production, it will undoubtedly influence our future offering and has the potential to develop smart societies for the future. No matter what type of solution we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this applies to all our self-driving projects," Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Lundstedt said in a statement.
In May, Volvo, together with Swedish waste and recycling firm Renova, had previously announced it was testing an autonomous refuse truck that the companies say has the potential to be used in urban settings.
Volvo Group’s autonomous refuse truck is designed to make the driving safer in built-up areas, not least when reversing. Sensors continuously monitor the vehicle’s vicinity and the truck stops immediately if an obstacle suddenly appears in its path. The route is pre-programmed and the truck drives itself from one wheelie-bin to the next. The driver, who walks ahead of the reversing vehicle, can focus on refuse collection and does not have to climb into and out of the cab every time the truck moves to a new bin.
The joint project with Renova will continue until the end of 2017. The autonomous truck currently being tested is fitted with a sensor system for identification, navigation, and monitoring of the vehicle’s vicinity. It is employing some technology from AMCS Group in the test.
Waste360 named Volvo’s Martin Mattsson a 40 Under 40 award recipient this year. Currently, Mattsson is helping lead Volvo’s testing of a new refuse truck and a new hybrid wheel loader, which are both expected to hit the commercial market in the future.