Prototype long-haul autonomous truck unveiled by Volvo Autonomous Solutions

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A milestone has been reached on the Volvo Autonomous Solutions and Aurora partnership to develop on-highway autonomous trucks in the USA.

The two have successfully built a prototype of Volvo Trucks’ long-haul VNL model which has been equipped with the Aurora Driver technology. According to the experts, it is a massive achievement on their mission to make fully autonomous Class 8 trucks a commercial reality in North America.

“Volvo Autonomous Solutions is proud to take our first, major steps toward the autonomous Volvo VNL in North America. Our long-standing customer base and their priorities are at the forefront of our path forward in shaping autonomous trucking. We strongly believe in a future in which safe, sustainable, efficient transport solutions are essential for any society to prosper, and autonomous commercial trucking is an important piece of that transformation,” said Nils Jaeger, president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions.

While research and development at Volvo Autonomous Solutions is supported by a network of teams located worldwide, specific on-highway autonomous truck applications are being engineered in the USA in preparation for future production applications at Volvo Trucks’ new River Valley assembly operations in Dublin, Virginia. 

Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America, commented, “We are proud that our Volvo VNL model will serve as the foundation for the development of North American autonomous trucks to offer our customers the next generation of safe, efficient and sustainable transport solutions.” 

As Volvo Autonomous Solutions and Aurora continue to make progress with the Volvo VNL prototype, which has been revealed digitally, the partners are working toward the next step in implementing their hub-to-hub transportation vision in North America. This includes identifying specific regions and routes to serve as the initial hubs for on-road highway testing. In addition, Volvo Autonomous Solutions is working closely with customers to understand their current and future needs, priorities and demands, in preparation for piloting the autonomous Volvo VNL in on-road, hub-to-hub transportation scenarios, as well as the eventual adoption of autonomous technology commercially.

Sasko Cuklev, head of on-road solutions for Volvo Autonomous Solutions, said, “We believe that autonomous solutions will complement the transport system of today and will be implemented where there is a purpose and where it makes sense. It is important for us to be part of this transformation, and together with our customers and partners, to be a leader in building up the new ecosystem.”

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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