Automotive

Volvo's self-driving Vera concept keeps on truckin' without a cabin

Volvo's self-driving Vera conc...
Volvo has just announced a new electric vehicle concept built to tow loads around ports all on their lonesome, so much so it hasn’t even bothered with a cabin
Volvo has just announced a new electric vehicle concept built to tow loads around ports all on their lonesome, so much so it hasn’t even bothered with a cabin
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Volvo's new Vera concept
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Volvo's new Vera concept
Volvo has just announced a new electric vehicle concept built to tow loads around ports all on their lonesome, so much so it hasn’t even bothered with a cabin
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Volvo has just announced a new electric vehicle concept built to tow loads around ports all on their lonesome, so much so it hasn’t even bothered with a cabin
The Volvo Vera concept is designed to lighten the load around ports, factories, logistics centers and anywhere else where goods are moved on the regular
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The Volvo Vera concept is designed to lighten the load around ports, factories, logistics centers and anywhere else where goods are moved on the regular
Rear view of Volvo's Vera concept
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Rear view of Volvo's Vera concept
Volvo hasn't revealed any production plans, but does say that in the “near future” it will work with selected customers to develop the concept further
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Volvo hasn't revealed any production plans, but does say that in the “near future” it will work with selected customers to develop the concept further
Much is said about the emergence of autonomous cars on our streets, but enclosed areas like ports, factories and corporate campuses may well be the places where they are put to work first
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Much is said about the emergence of autonomous cars on our streets, but enclosed areas like ports, factories and corporate campuses may well be the places where they are put to work first

Much is said about the emergence of autonomous cars on our streets, but enclosed areas like ports, factories and corporate campuses may well be where they are put to work first. With this in mind, Volvo has just announced a new electric vehicle concept built to tow loads around these kinds of environments all on their lonesome, so much so it hasn't even bothered with a cabin.

"We can see a boom in e-commerce, as well as overall global consumption and it shows no signs of slowing down," says Mikael Karlsson, Volvo's Vice President Autonomous Solutions. "The industry needs to find new ways to meet the increased demand on transports in an efficient and sustainable way. Therefore, new solutions need to be developed to complement what's available today."

The Volvo Vera concept is designed to lighten the load around ports, factories, logistics centers and anywhere else where goods are moved on the regular. The vehicle is more electric sled than electric car, removing the driver's cabin altogether (similar to Einride's T-log), while retaining the ability to latch standard load carriers and trailers onto the back.

Volvo hasn't revealed any production plans, but does say that in the “near future” it will work with selected customers to develop the concept further
Volvo hasn't revealed any production plans, but does say that in the “near future” it will work with selected customers to develop the concept further

Powered by the same drivetrain and battery packs as Volvo's electric trucks, the Vera is built to carry out repetitive, short-distance trips with large, heavy loads.

The idea is that fleets of Veras would work together by connecting to a control center over the cloud, which would optimize traffic flow to keep things operating smoothly and waits to a minimum. To that end, this central node would monitor the battery levels of the vehicles, along with their position, the content of their loads and service requirements.

Volvo doesn't outline any production plans for the Vera, but does say that in the "near future" it will work with selected customers to develop the concept further and the potential for the concept to expand into other types of applications in the future.

You can see the Vera at work in the video below.

Source: Volvo

5 comments
Derek Howe
That's pretty cool, definitely the future of all trucking.
TErber
It is asking for a trailer utilising space freed by removal of cab, that's like 2,2-2,4m (?), enough space for additional 4 of 100x120 pallets or 6 euro.
physics314
Shouldn't it be called Otto? :)
ljaques
My words, exactly, Derek: pretty cool. And I'm sure that some companies will take advantage and add cantilevered space in front of the 5th wheel coupler. physics, god'll getcha for that pun. Now, why did Volvo introduce Vera to us with no other info? Boo! P.S: Someone tell that Brit spokeswoman to back off the mic a bit. Some of her words were getting blown out, literally.
Jean Lamb
In 20 years, maybe less, there won't be any long haul trucking jobs, just the short range. Maybe that's why trucking companies are still paying so low, despite the driver shortage--they're hoping to scrape by till the driverless vehicles get on line.