Volvo Group today announced that it has created a new Volvo Autonomous Solutions unit to “accelerate the development, commercialization, and sales of autonomous transport solutions.”
The Swedish company, which has been developing electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles, said Volvo Autonomous Solutions will help meet demand for safer, more efficient, and more environmentally-friendly transportation. It cited United Nations Development Programme statistics around the need for more sustainable technologies and industries in response to urban congestion.
Volvo Autonomous Solutions a response to requests
From self-driving shuttles and mobile robots to cars that collect and share data about performance, road conditions and traffic, interest and opportunities around such vehicles are growing.
In particular, Volvo said it sees an opportunity for autonomous systems that repetitively moving large volumes of materials and goods in pre-defined routes. “In such situations, autonomous transport solutions can create value for customers by contributing to improved flexibility, delivery precision, and productivity,” the company said.
“We have experienced a significant increase in inquiries from customers,” stated Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group president and CEO. “With the Volvo Group’s wide range of offerings and broad experience of different applications, we have a unique opportunity to offer solutions that meet their specific needs. It is a logical next step for us to gather expertise and resources in a new business area with profit and loss responsibility to take autonomous transport solutions to the next level.”
Volvo already testing next-generation vehicles
Volvo Group noted that it has already been working on commercial autonomous systems, such as at the Brønnøy Kalk mine in Norway, where its FH trucks transport limestone along a 5km (3.1 mi.) route.
In addition, Volvo Trucks’ Vera self-driving, connected, and electric vehicle is part of an integrated system to transport goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden (see video at top of article).
In the Electric Site project, Volvo automated and electrified material handling in a quarry. It claimed that the new technologies made the working environment safer, reduced operator costs by 40%, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 98%.
Volvo Autonomous Solutions will be a new business entity as of Jan. 1, 2020, and will report its financial results as part of Volvo Trucks. The organization is currently in the process of recruiting a leader.
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