Volvo Trucks Reveals Cabless, Driverless Vera Semi Concept
The innovative workhorse is being developed to move products around large factories and shipping sites.
An announcement from Volvo Trucks details a new autonomous platform currently in development, known as the Vera.
This futuristic-looking hauler is a relatively small electric vehicle made to pull around standard semi-trailers. Compared to a typical tractor-trailer setup, the Vera has a smaller form-factor, bearing some forward-thinking resemblance to the retro Steinwinter Supercargo truck.
Unlike recent electric trucking ventures from Tesla and from Volvo itself, the Vera is not meant to navigate modern highways. According to the manufacturer, it's been designed "for regular and repetitive tasks characterized by relatively short distances, large volumes of goods, and high delivery precision." In other words, the Vera is meant to be used to carry containers across large manufacturing and shipping sites. In email correspondence with The Drive, Volvo also added that "the vehicles are engineered to be safe when part of the route includes a public road, but Vera is not intended for over the road freight."
With no human driver aboard, Vera must rely on what the company calls a "transport control center." The idea is to have multiple Veras at a shipping site form a wireless network and have the control center serve as an A.I. foreman of sorts.
"The transport control center continuously monitors the progress of the transport and keeps an accurate watch of each vehicle's position, the batteries' charge, load content, service requirements, and a number of other parameters," the Volvo release reads.
The Vera utilizes the same motors and batteries used in current electrified Volvo trucks. The company tells The Drive that the truck's power storage capacity is 300 kilowatt-hours of electricity, translating to an estimated 60 miles of range between charges. While that may not seem like much, that range would amount to several trips across a naval port or similar property. To demonstrate, Volvo has released a short video showing the system in motion.
When questioned by The Drive on when the Vera may be ready for production, Volvo replied, "The solution cannot be ordered today, and it is too early to say when the solution will be commercialized."
MORE TO READ
2019 Volvo XC40 R-Design Review: A Compact Crossover Packing Style and Smarts Alike
This small Volvo SUV’s beauty runs deep, bringing with it ultra-efficient packaging and ingenious features.
Volvo Teases Finned Concept Car Called the 360c
It’s about time this design trend came back.
This 39-Liter V12 Volvo Drives like a Tank
This abominable mashup of Swedish and Russian engineering puts out 1,700 pound-feet of torque.
Volvo Launches M ‘Mobility Brand,’ Plans Car-Sharing Service
BMW might have something to say about that.