Volvo Autonomous Solutions has been working with the Brönnöy Kalk limestone mining operation since 2018 on using driverless trucks to haul material out of the mines for processing.
The autonomous transport solution developed for Brönnöy Kalk by Volvo Autonomous Solutions consists of seven fully autonomous Volvo FH trucks using VAS' in-house-developed virtual driver system. Operating in challenging conditions that include steep inclination, extreme weather and long stretches of dark tunnels, the trucks haul limestone from the mine to the crusher.
“A long-held vision is now a reality,” said Nils Jaeger, president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions, in a release.
“Removing the safety driver in an active commercial transport operation in some of the world’s most challenging conditions is a major leap for the industry."
“This is a major step forward for us,” added Raymond Langfjord, managing director of Brönnöy Kalk. “We implemented autonomous trucks for several reasons — safety, efficiency and flexibility. With the removal of the safety driver we can now truly reap these benefits and increase our competitiveness in this tough industry.”
A Complete Autonomous Solution
The solution implemented at Brönnöy Kalk has been in development since 2018 and represents not just a major breakthrough in technology but also provides exciting new business models, according to Volvo. This is because rather than purchasing a truck or machine, Brönnöy Kalk is buying autonomous transport capacity from Volvo Autonomous Solutions.
“While autonomy brings unprecedented benefits to the industry, incorporating new technologies into existing operations can be a daunting challenge for many customers," explained Sven-Erik Gustafsson, head of solutions, Mining and Quarry at Volvo Autonomous Solutions. "By providing a complete solution that encompasses everything from software to site infrastructure to training to operations, we are able to reduce complexity for customers like Brönnöy Kalk and enable them to be a part of the autonomous future,”