FUTURE OF TRUCKS?: Volvo tests an autonomous truck in rigorous conditions. Image: YouTube
Stockholm - Volvo’s fully autonomous truck is the first in the world to be tested in operations deep underground in the Kristineberg Mine.
The self-driving truck is part of a development project aimed at improving the transport flow and safety in the mine. The truck will cover a distance of 7km, reaching 1320 metres underground in the narrow mine tunnels.
Filmed in tough conditions
Torbjörn Holmström, member of the Volvo Group executive board and Volvo group chief technology officer, said: "This is the world’s first fully self-driving truck to operate under such tough conditions. It is a true challenge to ensure that everything works meticulously more than 1300 metres underground."
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Volvo Group released a film showing the opportunities that open up with autonomous trucks. The film was recorded in harsh operating conditions in the Kristineberg Mine 100km from Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden. Holmström, who takes part in the film, is determined to show how safe the truck is.
In the clip, h can be seen standing in the middle of the mine gallery as the truck approaches.
Watch: The world's first self-driving truck in an underground mine
Holmström said: “No matter what type of vehicle we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this also applies to self-driving vehicles. I was convinced the truck would stop but naturally I felt a knot in my stomach until the truck applied its brakes!”
The entirely self-driving truck that takes the lead role in the film is a specially equipped Volvo FMX. Using various sensors, it continuously monitors its surroundings and avoids both fixed and moving obstacles. At the same time, an on-board transport system gathers data to optimise and coordinate the route and fuel consumption. The truck is part of a development project and is being tested in real-life operation for the very first time.