“The full potential of the transport industry is yet to be seen”

Combining automation, connectivity and electromobility open up for completely new possibilities to meet many of the challenges faced by our industry. In the development of Vera, Volvo Trucks has used its strengths in each of these three technological areas.
Mikael Karlsson and Vera

“We can see a boom in e-commerce, as well as overall global consumption and it shows no signs of slowing down,” says Mikael Karlsson, Vice President Autonomous Solutions. “The industry needs to find new ways to meet the increased demand on transports in an efficient and sustainable way. Therefore, new solutions need to be developed to complement what’s available today.”

Vera is designed for regular and repetitive tasks, over short distances, where large volumes of goods need to be delivered with high precision, such as in ports, factory areas and mega-logistics centres. This means that Volvo Trucks will not only be a provider of vehicles, but also of trouble-free transportation of goods from one hub to another.

As it is automated, the solution can enable round-the-clock operations, helping to create a continuous flow of goods with higher delivery precision. The electric drivelines can potentially result in reduced noise, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

“Our system can be seen as an extension of the advanced logistics solutions that many industries already apply today,” explains Mikael Karlsson. “It utilises the same infrastructure, such as standard containers and trailers. This is important since the global logistics system is not going to change overnight.”

Vera has been developed for a specific type of application but has the potential to expand into other types of applications in the future. The challenge is that every application is unique, and requires a unique solution, so partnering with customers will be an important part of the development.

“We’re unlikely to see a one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone, everywhere,” adds Mikael Karlsson. “It will differ depending on application and customer needs. Only by working closely together can we devise a customised solution that will harness the full benefits of these new emerging technologies, and Vera shows that Volvo Trucks is ready to undertake that journey. The full potential of the transport industry is yet to be seen.”