Video: Volvo unveils self-driving deep mine truck
Volvo Trucks launches pilot test of a specially equipped FMX at a depth of 1,320m in a Swedish mine
Volvo has unveiled the fully autonomous truck in the world, which it now plans to test in operations deep underground at the Kristineberg Mine, 100km from Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden.
The specially equipped Volvo FMX is being the pilot tested over a route of seven kilometres that sees it descend to 1,320m and drive through narrow mine tunnels.
Equipped with a range of navigational sensors, the truck is so safe that Torbjörn Holmström, chief technology officer at Volvo Group, stands in the path of the unmanned truck in the video below:
Torbjörn Holmström, said he wanted to show how safe the truck is, and was confident enough in the truck that he didn’t hesitate to stand in the middle of the mine gallery as the truck approached him.
He noted: “No matter what type of vehicle we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this also applies to self-driving vehicles. I was convinced the truck would stop but naturally I felt a knot in my stomach until the truck applied its brakes!
The aim of the development project by Volvo is to improve the transport flow and safety in mines.
For example, while variety of sensors on the truck continuously monitor the FMX’s surroundings, an on-board transport system also gathers data to optimise and coordinate the route and fuel consumption.
The whole enterprise is also part of a broader enterprise by Volvo to develop transferrable technologies around an autonomous platform for use in other applications.
Another video, below, provides further behind-the-scenes insight with the developers into the project.