If your truck is completely autonomous, why would you need a cab? Volvo Trucks believes that you don’t and that’s why they built a new all-electric and autonomous truck without a cab called Vera.
Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks, the idea behind Vera:
“The full potential of the transport industry is yet to be seen. Everything suggests that the global need for transportation will continue to significantly increase in the coming decade. If we are to meet this demand in a sustainable and efficient way, we must find new solutions. 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,”
The solution is mainly for urban transport since while the lack of cab does reduce weight significantly, it also bad for aerodynamic performance, which is important at higher speeds.
Volvo Trucks sees companies using this between their own locations.
Mikael Karlsson, Vice President of Autonomous Solutions, commented on the new autonomous and electric truck:
“Our system can be seen as an extension of the advanced logistics solutions that many industries already apply today. Since we use autonomous vehicles with no exhaust emissions and low noise, their operation can take place at any time of day or night. The solution utilises existing road infrastructure and load carriers, making it easier to recoup costs and allowing for integration with existing operations,”
As for the electric powertrain, Volvo says that it uses the same battery packs as its other electric trucks.
Earlier this year, the Swedish group announced that it will bring its electric trucks to the road as soon as this year and start selling them next year.
They unveiled a ‘the Volvo FL Electric’, a 16-tonne truck that can be configured with different battery packs for a capacity between 100 and 300 kWh for a range of up to 300 km (186 miles).
Volvo Trucks is now looking for companies interested in the concept and it wants to partner with them to develop transport solutions around the concept.