Volvo, through its Autonomous Solutions division, has unveiled the new Volvo VNL Autonomous – its first production-ready autonomous truck.

The new truck pairs Volvo’s commercial vehicles with autonomous driving technologies from Aurora Innovation. Through this collaboration, the companies are together aiming to deliver a purpose-designed, purpose-built, autonomous truck that will help increase freight capacity across the United States. A platform-based design approach to the truck will enable Volvo to utilize its in-house developed virtual driver for trucks and machines, working within confined applications and partner virtual driving technologies for on-highway trucking applications.

Volvo Autonomous Solutions is more broadly aiming to tackle the transportation industry’s capacity constraints through safe, sustainable, and efficient autonomous transport solutions. Here, the new Volvo VNL Autonomous has been made with safety in mind – offering redundant steering, braking, communication, computation, power management, energy storage and vehicle motion management systems.

Volvo’s and Aurora’s engineers have worked closely together to integrate the Aurora Driver, an SAE L4 autonomous driving system, into the VNL Autonomous. The Aurora Driver consists of powerful AI software, dual computers, a proprietary LiDAR that can detect objects more than 400 meters away, high-resolution cameras, imaging radar, and further sensors that altogether enable the Volvo VNL Autonomous to safely navigate the world around it. The platform itself has been trained and tested in Aurora’s virtual suite, where it has driven billions of virtual miles. It also has driven 1.5 million commercial miles on public roads, navigating end-to-end trucking routes while traversing highways, rural roadways, and surface streets day and night, through good and bad weather.

Volvo VNL Autonomous will be assembled at Volvo’s flagship New River Valley (NRV) plant in Dublin, Virginia. As one of the largest Volvo Trucks plant globally, NRV’s experiences in high-volume production combined with stringent automotive quality processes will result in the capability to produce the VNL Autonomous at industry demand.

The new truck is based on Transport as a Service (TaaS) and includes a vehicle purpose-built for autonomous driving, a virtual driver, required infrastructure, operations and uptime support as well as a cloud solution that controls the transport system and manages logistics flows. The full range of solutions developed by Volvo Autonomous Solutions are tailor-made for each customer’s needs and aim to make their operations safer, productive and sustainable.