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Volvo’s autonomous vehicle Vera enters port duty

First announced last year, Volvo Trucks’ Vera autonomous vehicle is moving quickly in testing –  it is now hauling containers from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden. The test is part of a collaboration between Volvo Trucks (OTC: VLVLY) and DFDS, a ferry and logistics company.

“We want to be at the forefront of connected, autonomous transportation,” Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS, said. “This collaboration will help us develop an efficient, flexible and sustainable long-term solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates, benefitting our customers, the environment and our business.”

Vera is an electric-powered autonomous vehicle. It features no cab for a driver and is designed to travel short distances from point to point. In Gothenburg, Vera is moving fully loaded containers from a DFDS logistics center to APM terminals at the port.

“Now we have the opportunity to implement Vera in an ideal setting and further develop her potential for other similar operations,” Mikael Karlsson, vice president of autonomous solutions at Volvo Trucks, said.

The goal of the trial is to have several Vera vehicles working in the operation, each monitored by a control tower. The vehicles send out their precise location in real-time, helping remote operators to monitor their routes and respond instantly to situations created on the road.

“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. Testing has already started and we intend to implement the solution within the coming years,” Karlsson added.

Vera has a maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour (about 25 miles per hour). The project will also explore what infrastructure adaptations are necessary, including how to incorporate automated gates at the terminals.

DFDS provides ferry and transport services in Europe and Turkey.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

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