Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Jennifer Passas
  • 28 september 2016

In the Kristineberg Mine, 100 kilometers from Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden, the world’s first autonomous trucks are being tested 1,300 meters underground. The entirely self-driving truck from Volvo is taking a leading role in the opportunities that autonomous technology could provide.

Volvo Group has released a film showing the truck’s ability to drive in harsh conditions, navigating narrow mine tunnels and stopping when it senses obstacles in its way.

Using laser sensors placed on all four corners of the truck, the truck is able to sense where a human might be standing. The sensor technology gives the vehicle a very robust and safe system for its route while operating in the mine. The truck can drive a 7 kilometer route from the loading area to the crusher site, where it unloads all materials and then returns back into the mine’s shafts.

While the truck is still a concept vehicle, Volvo is testing it in real operations. The company believes that autonomous trucks, like the one shown in the movie, will be more productive, sustainable and safer than current self-driven automobiles and will have a great influence on all industries in the future.

The goal of the research project is to build knowledge and experience with the long-term goal of having the trucks leave the mine and be part of construction sites above ground and then ultimately riding on public roads.

Volvo believes that automation starts with safety. They are investing in this new technology not just for the sake of technology but rather for the benefits it could provide to customers or to drivers on the road.


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