Prime Mover Magazine

An automated world won’t dispense with drivers: Volvo

Safety will continue to be the major focus of truck design according to Volvo Trucks, as it continues to research and test driverless autonomous technology.

The commercial vehicle manufacturer currently uses driver support systems, which function on automation technology.

“The driver’s role will change but they will be an integral part of heavy transport for a long time into the future,” Volvo Trucks said in a statement.

Automation, according to the company, will make the growing freight task, as population growth pushes international trade, more efficient.

Traffic congestion and the environmental impact of heavy vehicles will also be greatly reduced through the new technologies it said.

“Our automation solutions aim to relieve the driver of some tasks, enabling them to rest more, or concentrate on the other aspects of their job such as route planning or logistics management,” Volvo Trucks said.

“A driver who doesn’t need his hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road 100 per cent of the time can be a lot more than a driver.”

Volvo Trucks anticipates truck platooning for long-haul highway logistics will reduce emissions and lower fuel consumption.

“We’re expecting automated vehicles to use less fuel and improve traffic flow,” said Volvo Trucks. “We’re also looking for all-round efficiency improvements, and our pilot projects in the mining, waste disposal and agriculture sectors have shown that automated technology can vastly increase productivity.”

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