Not content with its plans to test autonomous cars on public roads in China and the UK, Volvo wants to test self-driving trucks in underground mines too. The Volvo Group has developed a fully autonomous construction truck that it says can work without supervision.

The truck has been developed in partnership with Saab-owned tech consultancy Combitech, as part of a research and development project. Member of Volvo's group executive board and chief technology officer Torbjörn Holmström says such vehicles could improve the productivity of businesses, as they can work round-the-clock without tiring, unlike human drivers.

"The Volvo Group has been conducting research into autonomous vehicles for several years and we are delighted to have already developed a solution that we believe will ultimately revolutionize the mining industry," explains Holmström. "We expect to be able to significantly increase our customers' productivity while at the same time improving fuel efficiency and safety."

The truck is fitted with GPS technology and LiDAR sensors, which continuously scan its surroundings. Using data from these sources, it is able to navigate fixed and moving obstacles, as well as operate fully autonomously both above and below ground.

Source: Volvo Group