Volvo Autonomous Tractor Truck – Walkaround – 2018 IAA Hannover
Berlin, Germany – Volvo Trucks, the world’s second-biggest truck maker, introduced a new self-driving electric truck last September, which it says should help respond to the boom in ecommerce and a shortage of truck drivers. Volvo says the truck, which does not have a driver’s cab, was still under development and declined to say when it would be available commercially. It expects the vehicle to be deployed first in places like ports and large logistics centers.
“We believe there will be a driver behind the steering wheel for the foreseeable future, but we will pretty soon see self-drive commercial vehicles in confined areas,” Lars Stenqvist, Volvo chief technology officer, told a conference in Berlin.
Trucking is viewed by transport experts as a natural application for self-driving technology because of the relative predictability of highways compared with busy city streets.
The cabless truck – which Volvo calls “Vera” and can pull loads weighing up to 32 tons and can be attached to any standard trailer, Michael Karlsson, head of autonomous solutions at Volvo Trucks, said after the vehicle was unveiled.
“Vera means faith and we have faith in the future,” Karlsson said, adding the vehicle has a lower operating speed than a normal truck for safety reasons.
Guests at the presentation were made to stand behind a barrier as the truck drove out unaided from a tent and were only allowed to approach when it came to a stop.