Volvo Trucks introduced the unmanned tractor Vera with electric propulsion. There is no place for a person in it in principle.
Unmanned truck today, few people will be surprised-to run such machines promise many automakers, but almost all such projects, including electric truck Tesla Semi, have a traditional cab for the driver, where a person at least plays the role of an observer, which in a difficult situation it is necessary to take control.
The Vera truck tractor, developed by Volvo’s freight division, is a guest from a more distant future, when human services in transport systems will be unclaimed in principle, and everyone will make robots.
In this brave new world of trucks will not be the driver’s seat and cockpit, and the entire useful area of the machine and trailer can be put on the goods. Such a project, in particular, was recently presented by Daimler concern – the Vision Urbanetic electric drone in the cargo version is a large suitcase without Windows and doors traveling on the road. Volvo Vera from the same series, only in contrast to the Daimler concept, the Swedish unmanned tractor was created with an eye to solving not abstract, but specific transport problems in local areas — for example, in ports and logistics centers.
Vera can also travel on public roads, but for relatively short distances, limited by the capacity of the battery (a specific figure is not called). Accordingly, taking into account the low speeds and distances aerodynamics can be neglected, so do not be confused by the front sheer wall of the trailer open to all winds — for “long-range combat”, obviously, other tractors will be used. As for the local areas, according to the developers of Volvo Trucks, they will be fully serviced by self-propelled “carts” like Vera, connected with each other and the electronic brain center through the cloud service. Artificial intelligence will determine the order, time and place of loading/unloading at the terminal, taking into account hundreds of different technical factors and maximum economic efficiency. It is clear that such a system can work around the clock and without lunch — just have time to charge the batteries. And it is clear that many hard workers-drivers with such a smart and independent system will remain without work…
Some Russian truckers are now seriously afraid to remain competitive with the drones, because the development of Autonomous driving systems are engaged in full KAMAZ and US. But in Europe, according to the press service of Mercedes-Benz Vans, the situation is different: transport companies are experiencing an acute shortage in drivers, so truck developers are forcing the development of unmanned vehicles.