Electric truck testing for cargo efficiency

Electric vehicle The vehicle will take goods from a DFDS logistics centre to an APM Terminals port facility in Gothenburg. Credit: Volvo Trucks

A new project by Volvo Trucks and DFDS will test the capabilities of an electric, autonomous vehicle in transporting goods efficiently and sustainably from a DFDS logistics centre to an APM Terminals port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The purpose of the project is to implement Vera in a real application, enabling a connected system for a continuous flow of goods and distribution across the world.

“Now we have the opportunity to implement Vera in an ideal setting and further develop her potential for other similar operations,” says Mikael Karlsson, vice president autonomous solutions at Volvo Trucks.

High precision

Launched in 2018, Vera was designed for repetitive assignments in logistics centres, factories and ports. The vehicle is suited for short distances, transporting large volumes of goods with high precision.

The aim is to implement a connected system consisting of several Vera vehicles monitored by a control tower. The purpose is to enable a seamless and constant flow responsive to demands on greater efficiency, flexibility and sustainability. The collaboration with DFDS is a first step towards implementing Vera in a real transport assignment on pre-defined public roads in an industrial area.

This autonomous transport solution will be further developed in terms of technology, operations management and infrastructure adaptations, before it can be fully operational. Moreover, necessary safety precautions will be taken to meet societal requirements for a safe path towards autonomous transports.

“Autonomous transports 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,” added Mr Karlsson.

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