The Volvo Group plans to accelerate the development and commercialisation of autonomous transport solutions, with the mining industry a key target.
The company plans to create a new business area, Volvo Autonomous Solutions, next year to meet a growing demand in autonomous transport solutions.
It dedicate the business area to mining, ports and transport between logistics centres.
Volvo president and chief executive Martin Lundstedt said the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) had experienced a “significant increase in inquiries” from customers.
“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,” Lundstedt said.
The Volvo Group has already demonstrated a number of different autonomous transport solutions.
At the Brønnøy Kalk mine in Norway, autonomous Volvo FH trucks will be used in commercial operation to transport limestone along a five-kilometre stretch.
At Volvo’s Electric Site project at construction company Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry near Sweden, material handling was automated and electrified, reducing operator costs by 40 per cent and carbon dioxide emissions by 98 per cent.
Volvo’s self-driving, connected and electric vehicle Vera will also form part of an integrated solution to transport goods from a logistics centre to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“With global developments characterised by higher demand for transportation, increasingly congested roads and major environmental challenges, the industry needs to provide transport solutions that are safer, have a lower environmental impact and are more efficient,” Volvo said in a media statement.