While strides have been taken in the switch to hybrid and all-electric drive, creating autonomous transport is proving hard to perfect, according to an article on the Volvo CE website. Because of this, the move to autonomous machines will not be a case of replacing an operator with a machine. Instead, it will prompt the automation of the whole process
“To reduce the complexity of the world we need to standardize the process as much as possible,” says Uwe Muller, sales and marketing lead for Volvo off road solutions. “In quarries we can do this as they are in a confined area, are highly regulated and it’s easier to separate autonomous transport from other processes. Involving loading and dumping, the process itself is simple and repetitive.”
Currently, Volvo Autonomous Solutions is working closely with the Volvo Group’s other business areas. This ensures that new machines use the same autonomous drive platforms, coding languages, etc. according to the article, this allows them to be “talked to” in the same way.
With the right customer partners, the next step could be underground mining and tunnel applications. Autonomous machines, especially electric ones, work just as well in the dark as in the light, and it’s good to remove people as much as possible from these hazardous locations.
From there, Rosdahl says the focus could shift to large earthmoving projects that are still contained, but have more variables to cope with, as our technology becomes more embedded over time.