Volvo Trucks Vera Semi Is Impossible To Drive: Video

SEP 15 2018 BY MARK KANE 31

The latest Volvo Vera is all-electric and fully autonomous, so no driving for you.

Volvo Trucks introduces a new concept semi-trailer that not only is all-electric and autonomous, but completely breaks from the drivers as there is no cab.

The Swedish manufacturer didn’t release spec sat this point, but the Vera should be able to operate with any standard trailer (up to 32 tons).

In the future, it’s expected that fleets of such vehicles will operate automatically (linked only to a cloud service and a transport control center), which is probably the ultimate transportation solution.

Volvo Trucks: autonomous electric vehicle Vera
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Volvo Trucks: autonomous electric vehicle Vera Volvo Trucks: autonomous electric vehicle Vera Volvo Trucks: autonomous electric vehicle Vera Volvo Trucks: autonomous electric vehicle Vera Volvo Trucks: autonomous electric vehicle Vera Volvo Trucks: autonomous electric vehicle Vera

Press release:

Volvo Trucks presents future transport solution with autonomous electric vehicles

Volvo Trucks is now presenting a new transport solution consisting of autonomous electric commercial vehicles that can contribute to more efficient, safer and cleaner transportation. The long-term goal is to offer companies that need continuous transport services between fixed hubs a complement to today’s offerings.

Growing world population and increasing urbanization are leading to significant challenges to solve environmental issues such as congestion, pollution and noise. Rising consumption, the fast growth of e-commerce and the wide-spread shortage of drivers put higher demands on efficient transport solutions.

“The full potential of the transport industry is yet to be seen. Everything suggests that the global need for transportation will continue to significantly increase in the coming decade. If we are to meet this demand in a sustainable and efficient way, we must find new solutions. In order to secure a smoothly functioning goods flow system we also need to exploit existing infrastructure better than currently. 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 Volvo Trucks.

Volvo Trucks’ future transport solution is intended to be used for regular and repetitive tasks characterised by relatively short distances, large volumes of goods and high delivery precision. Transports between logistic hubs are typical examples, but additional use cases can also be applicable.

“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,” explains Mikael Karlsson, Vice President Autonomous Solutions.

The operation is handled by autonomous electric vehicles linked to a cloud service and a transport control centre. The vehicles are equipped with sophisticated systems for autonomous driving. They are designed to locate their current position to within centimetres, monitor in detail and analyse what is happening with other road users, and then respond with high accuracy.

The transport control centre continuously monitors the progress of the transport and keeps an accurate watch of each vehicle’s position, the batteries’ charge, load content, service requirements and a number of other parameters. As with an industrial production process, speed and progress are tailored to avoid unnecessary waiting and to increase delivery precision. In this way it will be possible to minimise waste in the form of buffer stocks, and increase availability. Vehicles that operate on the same route cooperate to create optimal flow.

In the near future, Volvo Trucks’ transport solution will be further developed together with selected customers in prioritized applications.

Facts

  • Volvo Trucks is developing a new type of transport solution for repetitive transports involving high precision between fixed hubs, as a complement to today’s solutions.
  • The transport solution consists of autonomous, connected, electric vehicles and a transport control centre.
  • The vehicles are used as tractor units and are compatible with existing load carriers/trailers.
  • The propulsion is entirely electric with zero exhaust emissions and low noise levels. The driveline and battery pack are of the same type that are used in Volvo Trucks’ electric trucks.

Categories: Trucks, Volvo

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31 Comments on "Volvo Trucks Vera Semi Is Impossible To Drive: Video"

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SJC

It has to be a proven system before 80,000 pounds on the open road.

M Hovis

Depends on how it is used. The first applications look to be short runs. Future applications could start as a follow vehicle to a piloted truck.

SJC

Even around docks a loaded rig could crush cars and people.

M Hovis

Right, especially if the driver is sleep deprived, texting, or had too much to drink.

Brian

We already have autonomous container straddle vehicles at ports of Auckland. There doesn’t even appear to be space for an operator.

Windbourne

city2city in specialized lanes. That is actually better than the short runs.

Magnus H

It’s not meant for open road, watch the video.

Kdawg

I had suggested this a while back. Glad to see someone was in the process of doing it. Need to make the trailer more aerodynamic though.

Magnus H

It’s meant for low speed tugging, watch the video.

William

Volvo and Vera will help the short haul trucking EV market become cost competitive. Tesla may miss this truck segment if they don’t get something out there soon.

Mikael

The truck segment is extremely large. And there is no one even close to have what Tesla will offer available for production en mass for years to come.

Tesla missing the truck segment is as likely as you shooting a bullet into the air and missing the earth.

Alonso Perez

William said “this” specific truck segment, not “the”.

Dimitrij

I assume you are talking about the truck/lorry/LKW/camion segment of the vehicle market, as opposed to “passenger vehicles”? If so, some trucks are already serving in Europe. I am certain that smaller trucks for short-range deliveries will be electrified first.

http://www.autocarpro.in/news-international/ten-mercedesbenz-electric-actros-trucks-begin-operation-with-hermes-40714

https://electrek.co/2018/05/31/dhl-streetscooter-second-electric-vehicle-factory/

Alonso Perez

There are a lot of truck market segments. Impossible for Tesla to go after all of them, and unnecesary. Their mere presence in a couple of segments puts pressure on all of them.

Dimitrij

Also, I would guess Europe does not depend on long-range, heavy trucks as much as the US does … only a guess.

Troy

Be great with a fifth wheel RV

drpawansharma

वो सब तो ठीक है पर is it electric?

ffbj

Well, If you believe from the article:
•The transport solution consists of autonomous, connected, electric vehicles and a transport control centre.

John Doe

Yes

Windbourne

I would like to see a state or a nation get smart and devote the inner most lane to nothing but automated vehicles. When in this lane, the automated can then speed up faster and be tighter in formation.
With such an approach, going from city2city would be easy for long distance trucks and cars with drivers that over look them.

In fact, by doing this now, and requiring that before entering into city areas that the automated truck be changed to a human controlled, it would actually encourage companies to switch over. Heck, they might even get smart and simply put stops on each side of the city so that a specialized truck hooks up and drives through the city. Think tug in a harbour.

Troy

I voted for California’s HSR bonds in 2008 but in retrospect wish that was funding for these autonomous-only freeways instead.

A 2nd I-5 (I-555??) from Tracy to Corona right down the middle of the valley would be awesome.

Dan F.

Well I voted against the bonds because it was clear to me even that the whole thing is a giant boondoggle. It’s very, very unlikely to ever get completed (especially the urban and suburban parts at each end) but certain engineering/construction companies will make a lot of money. We may end up with a very expensive amusement park ride from Bakersfield to Fresno.

The route picked goes through San Jose (appropriate) and several central valley cities (politically necessary) making the S.F. to L.A. route about 520 miles (vs about 400 on I5 and 330 miles straight line and the trip time (with stops) close to 4 hours. The part from San Jose to S.F. will run on shared tracks at about 100 mph.

Basically, this a $100 billion vanity project (even the official cost is now at something like $60 to $70 billion) when the state needs to maintain and upgrade its roads, bridges, water systems, university system, etc., etc., etc. Maybe we can get a 45 min. hyperloop S.F. to L.A, for only a few billion, (only kidding).

Daniel

What kind of devotion are you imagining? Simple lane markings won’t work (as proven by many drivers using the bus lane even if they’re not allowed).

Hauer

Nope, not more hubs using up space.

ffbj

Haha! No driving for you. The Semi-Nazi.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Hmph. The images above show this semi tractor on the open road, but the application is actually just for a terminal truck or “yard mule” semi tractor?

More than a bit misleading, I’d say. 🙁

But I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the first commercial use of fully autonomous vehicles in such a limited-area application. That would make it far easier to keep track of them, and to keep an eye on them in case of serious malfunction.

Magnus H

The footage is from the Volvo test track. Not an open road.

Counterpoint

From the description, I would guess the folks in the control center can remotely manually override any of the vehicles if there’s a problem. That’s a good system from a redundancy standpoint.

Kosh

Can we nickname this one “decraniated” ? (ref: Star Wars)

Gibber

Cool idea but then there are the trucking unions that will fight this to the bitter end so….

Steven

Apparently, someone saw the movie “Logan”.

Seriously though, it could be an effective “yard goat”.