Volvo Trucks has rolled out an autonomous, electrically powered tractor programmed to handle repetitive delivery tasks on short-haul routes such as in and around a seaport complex, between fixed-site logistics hubs, or a dense industrial facility.
The model, called "Vera," is a compact tractor with no provisions for a human driver. Volvo Trucks made the announcement yesterday. It did not say if the equipment would be available, or when it might be.
The vehicles will be connected with a cloud-based central control center, and the trucks can also communicate between themselves, Goteborg, Sweden-based Volvo Trucks said. The control center can create routes based on the trucks' individual battery charge levels, cargo types, service requirements and specific locations, Volvo Trucks said.
Vera is designed to use standard trailer hookups, and it utilizes a powertrain already built into Volvo's electric trucks. Because of that, the template for the vehicle's use and maintenance already exists.
"In order to secure a smoothly functioning goods flow system we also need to exploit existing infrastructure better than currently. The transport system we are developing can be an important complement to today's solutions and can help meet many of the challenges faced by society, transport companies and transport buyers," said Volvo Trucks President Claes Nilsson in a statement.