Aurora Volvo Self-Driving Truck Unveiled
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Aurora Volvo Self-Driving Truck Unveiled, to be Piloted Late 2024

Three years into the Volvo Aurora partnership, the two companies have shown off their first production-ready autonomous truck. According to Techcrunch, the  Aurora Volvo self-driving truck was unveiled at the ACT Expo in Las Vegas on Monday evening. The truck could hit US highways this summer. The launch marks an important step in Volvo’s plan to expand its driverless trucks brand. 

Confirming this, Volvo Autonomous Solutions President Nils Jaeger said, “This truck is the first of our standardized global autonomous technology platform, which will enable us to introduce additional models in the future, bringing autonomy to all Volvo Group truck brands and other geographies and use cases.”

Robust Self-Driving Technology 

The Volvo VNL Autonomous truck is powered by a level 4 autonomous driving system developed by Aurora. It’s based on Volvo’s VNL, a Class 8 semi specially designed for long-haul transportation. The driving system uses a LiDAR sensor, high-resolution cameras, and imaging radars. The LiDAR sensor can detect objects 400 meters away.

Aurora Co-Founder, Sterling Anderson said, “This truck combines Aurora’s industry-leading self-driving technology with Volvo’s best-in-class truck, designed specifically for autonomy, making it a must-have for any transport provider that wants to strengthen and grow their business.”

Aurora’s driverless technology has driven 1.5 million miles on actual roads and billions of virtual miles during training. 

Volvo Safety Measures

According to Volvo Autonomous Solutions, the Volvo VNL truck comes with multiple redundant systems to ensure safety. These include redundant steering, power management, braking, computation, communication, motion management, and energy storage systems. 

“Our platform engineering approach prioritizes safety by incorporating high-assurance redundancy systems designed to mitigate potential emergency situations. We built the Volvo VNL Autonomous from the ground up, integrating these redundancy systems to ensure that every safety-critical component is intentionally duplicated, thereby significantly enhancing both safety and reliability,” Chief Product Officer at Volvo Autonomous Solutions, Shahrukh Kazmi said.

Although the Volvo VNL is an autonomous truck, a human driver will still be present behind the wheel when it starts transporting cargo across the US. The driver will take over the vehicle operation when the need arises. 

Piloting Plans

The Volvo VNL Autonomous truck’s unveiling demonstrates Aurora’s progress towards commercializing self-driving trucks. The company plans to pilot the trucks with target customers later in this year. Initial plans indicate that Aurora will run freights between Houston and Dallas. 

The freights will involve 20 driverless fleet Class 8 trucks without human drivers on the wheel. 

It’s not clear whether the Volvo driverless trucks will be part of this fleet. However, Volvo has commenced manufacturing of the first batch of Aurora Volvo self-driving trucks test fleet in its Virginia assembly facility. 


Silvia Hart
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