It might not always be the case, but when it comes to new-vehicle technologies, they tend to appear on passenger car applications before going up the food chain to heavy commercial vehicles. This trend has been evident with autonomous vehicles because, while everywhere you turn a manufacturer or startup is presenting a take on the driverless future, the heavy truck market has stayed relatively quiet. Sure, there’s been platooning trials and talk of V2V and V2I connectivity, but going one step further and removing the driver from the equation? That’s been unheard of, until very recently.
Volvo Trucks was the first to break ranks with a truck that looks nothing like a truck. Vera is the company’s vision of the future—a truck without a cab that can be controlled remotely and makes the driver redundant in some applications. Designed for regular and repetitive tasks over short distances, Vera combines autonomy, connectivity, and electrification in one concept vehicle in a radical new design of tractor unit. Volvo says Vera is still very much in development, as it seeks the perfect mix of vehicles for the future to cope with the demands and requirements of the transport industry.