Full speed ahead on autonomous transport solutions for ports

2021-05-11 Skandiahamnen, Göteborg. Volvo Trucks. Volvo Autonomous Solutions. Självkörande lastbil under inlärningsfasen. © Photo by Sören Håkanlind / Copyright

Volvo Autonomous Solutions, together with commercial partners, is now taking the next step towards autonomous transport solutions within the port and logistics centre segment.

By collecting data with a sensor-equipped truck in the port area of Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo Autonomous Solutions is moving towards commercialisation of autonomous transport solutions on both public roads and confined port areas.

Volvo Autonomous Solutions is now moving ahead with a commercial pilot project in the port area of Gothenburg. The project is a collaboration between Volvo Autonomous Solutions and the shipping and logistics company DFDS, port operators APM Terminals, the Port of Gothenburg and property company Platzer Fastigheter.

Nils Jaeger

The development work is done together with AI and AV computing platforms partner NVIDIA.“It is full speed ahead in the development of on-road as well as off-road transportation solutions,” says Nils Jaeger, president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “Autonomous transport has an important role to play in the future of logistics and will benefit both business and society in terms of productivity, safety and sustainability.”

“Our vision for an automated supply chain aligns very well with Volvo’s goals for this project, and made this valued partnership a natural choice. Autonomous solutions have the potential to radically improve efficiency and increase safety in both business and society, and it takes open collaboration across industries to drive this kind of complex change,” says Rune Keldsen, EVP and CTO at DFDS.

The project entails collecting data with a sensor-equipped truck in the Arendal area in Gothenburg, as a first phase towards creating an automated and connected system for a continuous flow of goods. The truck, operated by a human driver, is being driven on both confined port areas and public roads and is collecting data to develop the artificial intelligence to be able to design a safe autonomous solution.

The data collection vehicle will be used to learn about complex everyday traffic situations, using sensors logging the surroundings of the vehicles as well as the driver’s interaction with the vehicle. The truck is equipped with 21 sensors in the shape of radars, lidars and cameras, making it possible for the system to detect small things far away on the road surface, as well as objects that are close to the vehicle.

“Volvo is already used to working in confined areas when it comes to operating autonomous vehicles, but the complexity of public roads is something entirely different,” adds Luca Delgrossi, VP vehicle automation, Volvo Autonomous Solutions.

“Automation is a key lever in our industry for improving safety and increasing our efficiency, so we are very happy to partner on this exciting project and we look forward to seeing it develop. I am convinced that including the terminal in the data collection phase will contribute to understanding the complexity of our business,” according to Dennis Olesen, managing director, APM Terminals Nordics.

“This pilot is a step towards deploying similar projects in other ports in the world, on the journey towards industrialisation of autonomous solutions. Volvo Autonomous Solutions is in an expansive phase with many ongoing projects where we see exciting developments throughout,” concludes Nils Jaeger, president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “There’s no time to pause on the road to the future.”

The project is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, and Swedish innovation financier Vinnova.

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