Volvo showcases production ready autonomous truck

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Updated May 22, 2024
Volvo VNL Autonomous driving in the desert

Volvo Autonomous Solutions Monday unveiled Volvo’s first-ever production ready autonomous truck at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas.

The Volvo VNL Autonomous brings together Volvo’s commercial vehicle expertise with industry-leading autonomous driving technology from Aurora Innovation. The result is a purpose-designed and purpose-built autonomous truck that will be the key enabler to increasing freight capacity across the United States, the company says.

“We are at the forefront of a new way to transport goods, complementing and enhancing transportation capacity, and thereby enabling trade and societal growth,” says Nils Jaeger, president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “This truck is the first of our standardized global autonomous technology platform, which will enable us to introduce additional models in the future, bringing autonomy to all Volvo Group truck brands, and to other geographies and use cases.” 

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The platform-based design approach will enable Volvo to use its in-house developed virtual driver for trucks and machines working within confined applications and partner virtual driving technologies for on-highway trucking applications. The company states the Volvo VNL Autonomous has been made with safety in mind, and therefore has redundant steering, braking, communication, computation, power management, energy storage and vehicle motion management systems.

“Our platform engineering approach prioritizes safety by incorporating high-assurance redundancy systems designed to mitigate potential emergency situations,” says Shahrukh Kazmi, chief product officer at Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “We built the Volvo VNL Autonomous from the ground up, integrating these redundancy systems to ensure that every safety-critical component is intentionally duplicated, thereby significantly enhancing both safety and reliability.”

Volvo’s and Aurora’s world-class engineering teams also worked closely together to integrate the Volvo VNL Autonomous and the Aurora Driver, an SAE L4 autonomous driving system.

Volvo VNL Autonomous co-branding on tractor

The Aurora Driver consists of powerful AI software, dual computers, proprietary lidar that can detect objects more than 400 meters away, high-resolution cameras, imaging radar, and additional sensors, enabling the Volvo VNL Autonomous to safely navigate the world around it, the companies say.

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“Powered by the Aurora Driver, the new Volvo VNL Autonomous is the realization of our shared vision,” says Sterling Anderson, co-founder and chief product officer at Aurora. “This truck combines Aurora’s industry-leading self-driving technology with Volvo’sbest-in-class truck, designed specifically for autonomy, making it a must-have for any transport provider that wants to strengthen and grow their business.”

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