This futuristic, electric, automatic truck is how Volvo envisions portage and other drayage operations in the not-to-distant-future. Image: Volvo Group
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This futuristic, electric, automatic truck is how Volvo envisions portage and other drayage operations in the not-to-distant-future. Image: Volvo Group

Volvo has a reputation as a conservative company – one that’s unfair, in my opinion.

I’ve been closely observing on Volvo in various guises for almost a quarter of a century now. And while it’s true that the company does tend to be highly deliberate when it comes to bringing new technology to its customers, the idea that Volvo lacks some sort of long-reaching vision when it comes to emerging technology is patently absurd. In my experience, Volvo is one of the most technologically savvy companies on the planet today, and I see no sign that’s going to change any time soon. In fact, quite the contrary: In its own, measured way, Volvo is continually pushing back the envelope in numerous high-tech areas, including aviation, marine, construction and – of course – trucking innovations.

For proof, look no further than Volvo Group’s Innovation Summit, which just wrapped up in Berlin, Germany, this week. Volvo used the conference to showcase its vision of several future transportation and construction technologies, including an electric, fully autonomous transport tractor that is wirelessly connected to, and guided by a transport control center, which operational issues such as each vehicle’s location, load and battery charge. Volvo says that fleets will be able to use this data to ensure that the overall fleet logistics as well as goods and vehicle flow are as efficient as possible.

The system is intended for use within areas characterized by short distances, large cargo volumes and high delivery precision, for example between logistic hubs, and is best summarized by this very cool, animated, video produced by Volvo, which does an excellent job of showing how such a system would function in real-world drayage operations.

“This is yet another result of the exciting and innovative solutions we are working with in the areas of automation, electromobility and connectivity, says Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer Volvo Group. ”It showcases the Volvo Group’s immense range of expertise and our solid technological knowhow.”

By further developing the advanced technology from Volvo’s electric buses Volvo Group is able to tailor it to suit the electrification of various vehicle categories, such as trucks, construction machines and marine and industrial applications. In parallel, Volvo Group has for many years conducted in-depth research into autonomous vehicles and presented several examples of self-driving concept vehicles.

“This puts us in a unique position for the development of next-generation transport solutions. Now we are continuing to pursue our development at a fast pace,” Stengvist says.

It’s another prime example of how Volvo is moving forward on future tech in trucking – and not in a conservative fashion, at all.

Author

Jack Roberts
Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts

As a licensed commercial driver, HDT senior editor Jack Roberts often reports on ground-breaking technical developments and trends in an industry being transformed by technology. With more than two decades covering trucking, in Truck Tech he offers his insights on everything from the latest equipment, systems and components, to telematics and autonomous vehicle technologies.

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As a licensed commercial driver, HDT senior editor Jack Roberts often reports on ground-breaking technical developments and trends in an industry being transformed by technology. With more than two decades covering trucking, in Truck Tech he offers his insights on everything from the latest equipment, systems and components, to telematics and autonomous vehicle technologies.

View Bio
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