The last few years saw Volvo taking a strong interest in its autonomous trucking efforts and several pilot projects such as a self-steering truck for sugarcane farming in Brazil, and an autonomous garbage collection truck. Volvo even launched its first commercial self-driving trucks for the mining, transportation of limestone last year.
Volvo debuted its new concept electric autonomous cab-less truck called Vera back in September and now has reportedly entered into a partnership with ferry and logistics company DFDS to offer "a transport solution" with the purpose of transporting goods between a logistics hub in Sweden and the port terminal of Gothenburg.
On June 12, Volvo Trucks posted on YouTube a commercial video titled 'Vera's First Assignment' that would "enable a seamless transport flow" by forming "a part of a transport solution in collaboration with ferry and logistics company DFDS. " (https://youtu.be/CMREUiQZSIs)
The Danish international shipping and logistics company DFDS will use Volvo's Vera on a pre-defined route, partly on public roads, at a maximum speed of 40km (25 miles) per hour and under remote-monitoring by an operator in a control room.
We want to be at the forefront of connected, autonomous transportation…This collaboration will help us develop an efficient, flexible, and sustainable long-term solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates — benefiting our customers, the environment, and our business - Torben Carlsen, CEO, DFDS
It will still take some years for this collaboration to manifest itself, because the necessary infrastructure such as automated gates to permit the trucks entry at the port terminal, is still being developed.
Now we have the opportunity to implement Vera in an ideal setting and further develop [its] potential for other similar operations - Mikael Karlsson, VP of Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks
Karlsson stated that the testing of Vera's autonomous transportation capacities is already under way in order to make it ready for public use in the coming years.
He added- “Autonomous transport, with low noise levels and zero exhaust emissions, have an important role to play in the future of logistics and will benefit both business and society… We see this collaboration as an important start and want to drive progress in this area."
Vera is not designed to travel long distances like across the country, but rather to travel short distances repetitively, such as from the logistics hubs to factories, ports and the like.