Published in Transportation

Volvo shows off cabless self-driving truck

by on13 September 2018

'ello Vera 

Sweden’s Volvo, the world’s second-biggest truck maker, presented a new self-driving electric truckwhich it said should help respond to the boom in ecommerce and a shortage of freight drivers.

The truck,dubbed Vera, does not have a driver’s cab, was still under development and Volvo declined to say when it would be available commercially. It expects the vehicle to be deployed first in places like ports and large logistics centers.

 Lars Stenqvist, Volvo chief technology officer, told a conference in Berlin that drivers will continue to drive trucks for the foreseeable future, but "we will pretty soon see self-drive commercial vehicles in confined areas” .

Trucking is viewed by transport experts as a natural application for self-driving technology because of the relative predictability of highways compared with busy city streets.

The cabless truck - which  can pull loads weighing up to 32 tonnes - can be attached to any standard trailer.

Volvo said the name Vera means faith and is a sign that it has faith in the future.

The vehicle has a lower operating speed than a normal truck for safety reasons which means they are even more likely to block highways than existing trucks.

Guests at the presentation were made to stand behind a barrier as the truck drove out unaided from a tent and were only allowed to approach when it came to a stop.

The 1.4-million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters union is campaigning against new US rules to speed the deployment of self-driving trucks, warning they could mean the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and hit road safety. However, trucking firms in many countries are finding it harder to attract and retain drivers amid tight labor markets.



Last modified on 13 September 2018
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