Volvo Vera, the New Trucker

It wasn’t long ago that Volvo first teased the Vera. Finally, the Volvo Vera, the sports car looking heavy hauler has arrived.

The Volvo Vera has received it’s first first assignment, taking a role moving goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Vera is Volvo’s first electric vehicle (EV) capable of fully autonomous operation. The Vera also produces little noise and emission pollution. Operations will be overseen and controlled remotely at a nearby control center. The hope of Vera is to make freight hauling cleaner, more efficient and safer. Safety has been a huge concern in public opinion and Volvo is facing that concern head on.

For example, Vera possesses an insanely accurate position system that pinpoints its position to the centimeter. Vera position awareness is unparalleled by human capabilities.

Vera is agile, able to detect sudden and minute changes in its environment and make adjustments instantaneously. This could be a skateboarder who dodges behind the trailer, a car attempting to park alongside or a dropped hazard suddenly in the hauler’s path. This is a good thing since part of Vera’s route takes will be on public roads.

Volvo’s vision for the future of freight”

“The transport system we are developing can be an important complement to today’s solutions and can help meet many of the challenges faced by society, transport companies, and transport buyers,” Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks, said in a statement.

A fleet of Veras, or similar autonomous vehicles would increase predictability on public roads, improve safety and minimize traffic congestion. I believe as this becomes reality, public opinion will shift dramatically as it has been for the Tesla and Nissan EVs. In my city of 100K for instance, you can’t drive a mile without seeing a Tesla or Leaf.

Volvo is already looking to expand the lineup, hinting at their rapid speed of development. I have no doubt that the future of autonomous delivery will arrive quicker than we can predict. It is apparent to me, seeing the pushes from Uber, USPS, Tesla among many others, full autonomy is right over horizon.

“Autonomous transports with low noise levels and zero exhaust emissions have an important role to play in the future of logistics and will benefit both business and society. We see this collaboration as an important start and want to drive progress in this area. Vera may have a speed limit, but we don’t,” adds Mikael Karlsson. 

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