Review of Vera | Latest Transportation Technology From Volvo
Autonomous Technology Penetrating The 3PL Market
As of last week, Volvo (USD +0.25 (1.47%)), specifically Volvo Group, showed the next steps of growth on their autonomous commercial vehicle project, Vera, indicating yet another niche where technology is pushing the transportation and 3PL sectors aggressively. Transportation, specifically last-mile services, has spiked up in the news recently due to Amazon's announcement of their last-mile/last-touch ownership program. Volvo Group's new technology shows how the two- online retailers like Amazon and growing tech. in A.I. and vehicles- can bring something vastly different in the future- removing the human element from 3PL transportation. Regardless of what the future will bring, this new technology will surely be implemented and/or integrated into other solutions. Besides removing the driver completely from the vehicle, it boosts a number of cost-effective and eco-friendly features. Continue reading below as TruckHub reviews Vera from Volvo Group.
"Volvo Trucks, the manufacturing arm of Volvo Group, underscored its commitment to offering autonomous commercial vehicles in the near future with the announcement recently that it has developed a self-driving, battery-electric, tractor-like unit it calls Vera. Vera is low and sleek, has no space for a driver, and hooks up to a trailer using a fifth wheel and a kingpin. Vera is intended to pull freight in ports, factory areas and large logistics centers where high volume loads are highly repetitive and cover short distances — but additional uses are possible. In the near future, Volvo Trucks’ transport solution will be further developed together with selected customers in prioritized applications, according to a company release"- as reported by Roger Gilroy, at TTNews.com.
“It’s designed to be safe, it’s quiet and totally predictable, down to cost savings,” said Michael Karlsson, vice-president of Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks. “Nothing similar to what you’ve seen from us before. In fact, it’s impossible to drive. Our system can be seen as an extension of the advanced logistics solutions that many industries already apply today. Since we use
autonomous vehicles with no exhaust emissions and low noise, their operation can take place at any time of day or night. The solution utilizes existing road infrastructure and load carriers, making it easier to recoup costs and allowing for integration with existing operations.” Exciting team for the development team in Sweden; time will reveal their efforts.
"We believe that cable-less semi-trucks, like the Volvo Vera or the Swedish startup Einride's T-Pod and T-Log, are the future of driverless trucks, more so than current concepts from Tesla or Daimler that are based on conventional truck designs." Jean Baptiste Su, Vice-President & Principal Analyst at Atherton Research.
This comes not too far from when Volvo Group introduced its all-electric, heavy-duty truck for European market (learn more about that topic here) just several months ago. There has been some push back in regards to autonomous technology in 3PL transportation, specific when the idea is to replace drivers. Many developing teams state they aren't trying to removing drivers and that the drive-less revolution is very faraway. In their first episode of RoadSigns, a new podcast series that sets out to answer the most pressing questions facing the trucking industry, Transport Topics breaks down the conversation revolving around autonomous technology even further0 learn more here. Stay tuned for more information, as next week we explore the development of electric-powered trucks and the role they might play in commercial transportation in the foreseeable future.