Volvo Unveils Autonomous Truck and Electric On Demand Service

May 29, 2024
The Volvo VNL and On Demand VNR are both Class 8 models.

Volvo Group North America has unveiled the Volvo VNL Autonomous, its first-ever production-ready autonomous truck, as well as Volvo on Demand, a Truck-as-a-Service (TaaS) initiative using 25 Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric trucks to accelerate battery electric vehicle adoption.

The Volvo VNL Autonomous, borne from a collaboration between Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.) and Aurora Innovation, integrated the Volvo VNL Autonomous and the Aurora Driver, an SAE L4 autonomous driving system. The Aurora Driver consists of AI software, dual computers, proprietary lidar that can detect objects more than 400 meters away, high-resolution cameras, imaging radar, and additional sensors.

The announcement came during the 2024 ACT Expo. See other ACT news here. 

The Aurora Driver has been trained and tested in Aurora’s virtual suite where it’s driven billions of miles. It also has driven 1.5 million commercial miles on public roads, where it navigates end-to-end trucking routes traversing highways, rural roadways, and surface streets day and night and through good and bad weather.

“Our platform engineering approach prioritizes safety by incorporating high-assurance redundancy systems designed to mitigate potential emergency situations,” said Shahrukh Kazmi, CPO Volvo Autonomous Solutions, in a statement. “We built the Volvo VNL Autonomous from the ground up, integrating these redundancy systems to ensure that every safety-critical component is intentionally duplicated.”

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 Volvo VNL Autonomous therefore has redundant steering, braking, communication, computation, power management, energy storage and vehicle motion management systems.

Volvo on Demand

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) and Volvo Financial Services (VFS) are using 25 Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric trucks to launch Volvo on Demand, the company's take on the TaaS business model "to simplify the acquisition and reduce the major upfront investment in battery-electric vehicles" it says. 

The program provides qualified customers with term options ranging 12 months and up, and includes Volvo Trucks’ Gold Contract and the option to bundle vehicle insurance for physical damage and collision, route planning and optimization guidance, as well as consultation to find charging solution and incentives that might be available.

About the Author

Harlee Hewitt

Harlee is associate editor for Construction Equipment. She has a Bachelor's in English with a focus on technical writing.