Autonomous trucking makes sense for a whole lot of reasons. While it will reduce the jobs held by human truck-drivers, it automates a profession that’s known for being intense. A self-driving truck, unlike a human-driven truck, could operate 24×7 and even at odd hours without worrying about the human sleeping behind the wheel. The trucking company doesn’t need to worry about wages, overtime, benefits, holidays, or even unions. The process becomes much safer, much more efficient, and immensely streamlined.
Companies are already entering the Self-driving truck market, with Tesla’s Semi boasting of incredible speeds, and Einride’s T-Pod showcasing a completely driverless concept. Now that Volvo’s entering the mix, we have a concept that promises to echo the brand’s dedication to safety and reliability… and just like with Volvo’s 360c autonomous car, the Vera is a conceptual autonomous truck that absolutely eliminates the need of a driver. The Vera, in fact, doesn’t even have space for a driver. Designed to look kind of like the pushback vehicle used by airplanes, the Vera is a small yet powerful platform/palette with wheels that attaches to the base of a cargo container, transporting it from A to B using artificial intelligence and a zero-emission electric propulsion system.
Intended for short commutes, accomplishing regular and repetitive tasks, the Volvo Vera will be connected to a cloud service and a transport control center to manage its predetermined routes. This control center will keep track of various details, such as the truck’s progress, a live log of every Vera on the road, the charge of each of their batteries, their load content, service requirements, and other crucial metrics.
Silent, safe trucks on our highways? I sure could live with that, Volvo!