Volvo Veras-first-assignment-06

DFDS will be the first operator to use autonomous vehicle, Vera, in a delivery operation on public roads, Volvo Trucks’ has said.

The fully electric, connected vehicle will be used to transport containers from a DFDS distribution centre to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Although the date Vera will enter full service has not yet been named, a Volvo Trucks spokesman confirmed to that trials were already underway.

Revealed last year, Vera is designed for repetitive assignments in logistics centres, factories, mines and ports. It is suited to short distances, transporting large volumes of goods at a maximum speed of 25mph.

“Now we have the opportunity to implement Vera in an ideal setting and further develop her potential for other similar operations,” said Mikael Karlsson, Volvo Trucks VP, Autonomous Solutions.

The aim is to implement a connected system consisting of several Vera vehicles monitored by a control room, which is manned by an operator.

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Volvo said the collaboration with DFDS is a first step towards implementing Vera in a real transport assignment on pre-defined public roads in an industrial area.

Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS, said: “We want to be at the forefront of connected, autonomous transportation. This collaboration will help us develop an efficient, flexible and sustainable long-term solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates, benefitting our customers, the environment and our business.”

Volvo added that its autonomous transport solution will be further developed in terms of technology, operations management and infrastructure adaptations, before it can be fully-operational.

In addition, all the necessary safety precautions will be taken to meet "societal requirements for a safe path towards autonomous transportation".

As Volvo Trucks gains more experience, it said Vera has the potential to be used in similar applications to complement today’s transport solutions.

“Autonomous transport, with low noise levels and zero exhaust emissions, has an important role to play in the future of logistics and will benefit both business and society," added Karlsson.

"We see this collaboration as an important start and want to drive progress in this area. Vera may have a speed limit, but we don’t. Testing has already started and we intend to implement the solution within the coming years."