Volvo‘s totally autonomous truck is the first ever to be tested in operations deep underground in the Kristineberg Mine. The self-driving truck belongs to a development task targeted at enhancing the transport flow and safety in the mine. The truck will cover a range of 7 kilometers, reaching 1,320 meters underground in the narrow mine tunnels.
“This is the world’s very first fully self-driving truck to run under such difficult conditions. It is a real challenge to make sure that everything works carefully more than 1300 meters underground,” states Torbjörn Holmström, member of the Volvo Group Executive Board and Volvo Group Chief Technology Officer.
Volvo is now launching a film revealing the opportunities that open with self-driving trucks. The film was recorded in extreme operating conditions in the Kristineberg Mine 100 kilometers from Arvidsjaur located in northern Sweden. Torbjörn Holmström, who participates in the film, wants to demonstrate how safe the truck is. He didn’t hesitate to stand in the middle of the mine as the truck approached him.
“No matter what kind of automobile we develop, safety is constantly our main concern and this also applies to self-driving automobiles. I was convinced the truck would stop but naturally I felt a knot in my stomach till the truck used its brakes!”
The completely self-driving truck that takes the lead role in the movie is a specifically geared up Volvo FMX. Using numerous sensing units, it continually monitors its environments and avoids both repaired and moving obstacles. At the same time, an on-board transport system gathers data to optimize and collaborate the path and fuel usage.