Self-driving electric truck designed for short range transport

The cabless Volvo Vera autonomous truck has been debuted, as the company continues development on self-driving heavy-haulers.

Vera is designed to carry standard container and trailers over short distances within ports, factories and large logistics centres.

Operating at low speeds to “ensure maximum safety”, Vera trucks are connected wirelessly to a central command centre, which keeps track of every vehicle’s location, battery state, goods type, traffic flow, and other critical factors.

In addition to cutting emissions and reducing stockpiles, Vera allows a factory or shipping facility to operate around the clock.

It’s not clear when the Vera will go into series production or become commercially available. Volvo Trucks says it is a work-in-progress, and the company needs “to take steps to secure safety aspects” so it “can deliver a premium experience to our customers”.

The company will initially test Vera trucks for repetitive tasks over short distances. Volvo Trucks believes it can keep increasing operating distances and speeds as its knowledge and technology improves.

Vera reported features the “same driveline used in [Volvo’s] electric trucks”, the first of which it unveiled earlier this year. No details about the vehicle or system’s system cost have been revealed. Volvo says it isn’t a one size fits all solution, and will require customisation for each client.