The Swedish company Volvo signed a contract forreal use of their unmanned trucks with the Norwegian mining company Brønnøy Kalk. At the moment, both companies are conducting tests. The full operation of the six autonomous tractor will begin by the end of 2019. The vehicles will transport the limestone extracted from the Bronnoy-Kalk mine to the port and unload it into the chopper. From there it will be loaded onto the barge. The length of the route from the mine to the place of unloading is about 4.8 kilometers. Moving along a predetermined route, cars will have to pass through two long tunnels (the length of the first is about 3.5 kilometers, the second - about 800 meters).
At first glance, all this may not seemso impressive, but the main thing here is that Volvo was the first to offer real commercial services for using its unmanned trucks. A company that has signed an agreement with a Swedish producer will have to pay the latter for each metric tonne of rock delivered. In other words, Volvo is motivated not only by its commitment to the customer, but also by the opportunity to capitalize on the technology, which it has actively advertised all these recent years.
As noted above, trucks willmove along a predetermined route and therefore there is an extremely small chance that something will go wrong. For the route, cars use a set of GPS sensors, a radar, as well as LiDAR sensors. The test is conducted under the guidance of a company representative who is sitting in the driver's seat and is ready at any moment to take control of the car to itself.
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to presentour standalone solutions. Working in a limited space, using a predetermined route, we will be able to evaluate the pros and cons of such a solution and adapt it as much as possible to the end customer, ”comments Sasko Kuklev, head of the unmanned solutions department at Volvo Trucks.
Volvo hints that this approachin the long run, other manufacturers of unmanned vehicles may also resort, perhaps even refusing to sell individual cars and turning exclusively to the provision of special services for the delivery of certain goods.
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