Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) has said its work towards automation is focussing on safety and the driver, and is not aimed at eliminating drivers but instead making the lives of professional drivers easier and safer as well as enhancing the safety of other road users.

Volvo Trucks North America says the rapid advancement of automation can give the impression of a “faceless and functional future,” but the Swedish company sees it differently.

“At some point in the future, self-driving Volvo trucks will be a reality on our roads and part of our society, probably starting in confined or private areas under controlled conditions,” said Göran Nyberg, president of VTNA.

“We continue preparing for deployment of trucks with higher levels of advanced driver assistance systems, but exact timing depends on many things, namely regulations, infrastructure and safety standards, and market demand.”

Volvo has produced a two-part film series that explores future truck technology, and outlines its vision for how it can be deployed.

“Automation will improve productivity and safety,” said Sasko Cuklev, Volvo Trucks’ global director of autonomous solutions. “It will allow us to optimize traffic management and route planning, and reduce equipment wear. Automation will help us develop more energy efficient solutions, and with solutions like platooning we will be able to decrease fuel consumption.”

“Automation is not about eliminating jobs,” added Ann-Sofi Karlsson, Volvo Trucks’ global director of human factors for automation. “Skilled professional drivers will still be in high demand. As trade and the world population continues to grow, so does the transport of goods. Automation is about making it more efficient.”

It has created videos to highlight its efforts in this area which can be viewed here