Volvo Trucks is taking a bold step towards self-driving vehicles with an autonomous FMX designed for underground operations.
This is the first time self-driving trucks are being tested in such a manner, with Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks saying the tests could provide valuable information:
“Through our cooperation with Boliden, the development of autonomous vehicles is entering an exciting new phase. This is the first time ever that self-driving trucks are being tested in regular operations underground, and the results will provide valuable input to our ongoing mission to transform technical breakthroughs into practical customer benefits.”
AB Volvo and Volvo Cars are two separate entities, and while the latter’s self-driving agenda isn’t something new – with the automaker recently joining forces with Autoliv to further develop autonomous – AB Volvo is one of the few companies pioneering the technology in the “big rig” field.
After revealing their autonomous FMX truck earlier this year, the company decided to put it to the test 1000-meters underground, in the Boliden mine in Kristineberg in northern Sweden. There, the very first FMX model will become operational this autumn, while over the following year the operation will gradually increase to include three more trucks.
All the vehicles used are series-built trucks, and they include radar/laser-based sensors used to collect information, and navigate the mine while regulating the vehicle’s steering and speed. Moreover, if an obstacle appears near a truck, it will automatically stop and the transport management center is alerted.