Volvo has announced that its Autonomous Solutions operation, together with commercial partners, has taken the next step towards autonomous transport solutions in the port and logistics centre segment.

Volvo Autonomous Solutions says it is moving towards commercialisation of autonomous transport solutions on both public roads and confined port areas starting by collecting data with a sensor-equipped truck in the port area of Gothenburg, Sweden,

Volvo Autonomous Solutions has started a commercial pilot project in the port area of Gothenburg as a collaboration between Volvo, the shipping and logistics company DFDS, port operators APM Terminals, the Port of Gothenburg and property company Platzer Fastigheter.

Accoriding to  the company the development work  is being undertaken together with artificial intelligence  and audio-visual computing partner NVIDIA.

“It is full speed ahead in the development of on-road as well as off-road transportation solutions,” said president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions, Nils Jaeger.

“Autonomous transport has an important role to play in the future of logistics and will benefit both business and society in terms of productivity, safety and sustainability,” said Jaeger.

“Our vision for an automated supply chain aligns very well with Volvo’s goals for this project, and made this valued partnership a natural choice,” he added.

“Autonomous solutions have the potential to radically improve efficiency and increase safety in both business and society, and it takes open collaboration across industries to drive this kind of complex change,” said Rune Keldsen, EVP and CTO at DFDS.

According to Volvo the project entails collecting data with a sensor-equipped truck in the Arendal area in Gothenburg, as a first phase towards creating an automated and connected system for a continuous flow of goods.

The truck, which is operated by a driver, is being driven on both confined port areas and public roads and is collecting data to develop the artificial intelligence to be able to design a safe autonomous solution.

The data collection vehicle will be used to learn about complex everyday traffic situations, using sensors logging the surroundings of the vehicles as well as the driver’s interaction with the vehicle. The truck is equipped with 21 sensors in the shape of radars, lidars and cameras, making it possible for the system to detect small things far away on the road surface, as well as objects that are close to the vehicle.

“Volvo is already used to working in confined areas when it comes to operating autonomous vehicles, but the complexity of public roads is something entirely different,” said Volvo’s VP of Vehicle Automation, Luca Delgrossi.

Nils Jaeger  went on to say  that teh pilot is a step towards deploying similar projects in other ports in the world.

“On the journey towards industrialisation of autonomous solutions. Volvo Autonomous Solutions is in an expansive phase with many ongoing projects where we see exciting developments throughout,” Nils Jaeger concluded.

The autonomous vehicle project is being co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, and Swedish innovation financier Vinnova.