Volvo Puts a Self-Driving Truck to Work in the Mines

Volvo has sent its self-driving technology 4330 feet underground to work in a Swedish mine. 

The truck will cover a distance of seven kilometers (4.3 miles) through narrow tunnels using various sensors in conjunction with an on-board transport system that constantly gathers data to optimize the truck’s route and fuel consumption.

The brand put together a video to show the truck operating in the Kristinberg Mine, located in Northern Sweden. Torbjörn Holmström, Volvo Group Chief Technology Officer was there to demonstrate the self-driving rig and he even trusted it enough to step in its way.

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“No matter what type of vehicle we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this also applies to self-driving vehicles,” he said. “I was convinced the truck would stop but naturally I felt a knot in my stomach until the truck applied its brakes!”

At this point, the truck is just a concept, though Volvo says that it is being tested in the real-life operation for use in the future.

“This is the world’s first fully self-driving truck to operate under such tough conditions. It is a true challenge to ensure that everything works meticulously more than 1300 metres underground,” says Torbjörn Holmström, member of the Volvo Group Executive Board and Volvo Group Chief Technology Officer.