Volvo Trucks will provide autonomous solution transporting solutions for Norweigan mining company Brønnøy Kalk AS transporting limestone from an open pit mine to a nearby port. Volvo announced the historic deal in a press release today.
Six autonomous Volvo FH trucks will transport limestone across a five-kilometer stretch through tunnels between the mine itself and the crusher. The autonomous transport system has undergone rigorous testing over the last few months.
The full system to be implemented by 2019
The pilot program will continue throughout 2018 and the full system will be implemented by the end of 2019. Rather than buying autonomous trucks Brønnøy Kalk AS worked with Volvo to develop the complete autonomous system to transport the limestone.
Brønnøy Kalk AS will pay Volvo per tonne delivered via the system. “This is an important step for us,” says Raymond Langfjord, Managing Director of the mine.
Competitive mining industry demands innovation
“The competition in the industry is tough. We are continuously looking to increase our efficiency and productivity long-term, and we have a clear vision of taking advantage of new opportunities in technology and digital solutions.
We were searching for a reliable and innovative partner that shares our focus on sustainability and safety. Going autonomous will greatly increase our competitiveness in a tough global market.”
Volvo leads in strategic partnerships
Volvo has set its sights on being an industry leader in autonomous transport systems and is working on several industry-specific solutions like this partnership with Brønnøy Kalk AS. Volvo is also working towards a more complete electric autonomous transport system called 'Vera' .
Volvo says a system like Vera has ‘the potential to optimize transport in highly-repetitive, short distance flows with large volumes of goods, such as ports, factory areas, and logistical mega centers, where it offers better delivery precision and flexibility.’
Vera brings logistics into the future
While Vera is some way off, smaller more boutique solutions like the limestone delivery put Volvo among the leaders of autonomous transport developers.
“It is exciting to reach this point where we introduce autonomous solutions, says Sasko Cuklev, Director of Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks.
By working in a confined area on a predetermined route, we can find out how to get the best out of the solution and tailor it according to specific customer needs.
This is all about collaborating to develop new solutions, providing greater flexibility and efficiency as well as increased productivity.”
Specialized solutions open space in autonomous transport sector
The autonomous trucking sector is growing rapidly. There is still plenty of space for specialized solutions within specific industries that Volvo is willing to fill.
“We are proud to be able to present an autonomous solution which will meet the challenges of our customers both in terms of safety, reliability, and profitability,” says Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks.
The global transport needs are continuously changing at a very high pace and the industry is demanding new and advanced solutions to stay ahead. Our aim is to be the leader of the development of products and services to respond to these demands”, continues Claes Nilsson.