Volvo Trucks’ electric, connected, and autonomous vehicle Vera will form part of an integrated solution to transport goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden. The assignment is a result of a new collaboration between Volvo Trucks and the ferry and logistics company, DFDS.

The initiative is conducted with support from the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova, the Swedish Transport Administration, and the Swedish Energy Agency through the Strategic vehicle research and innovation program, FFI.

The collaboration will implement Vera in a real application, enabling a connected system for a continuous flow of goods, from a DFDS’ logistics center to an APM Terminals port facility in Gothenburg, for distribution across the world. Vera is intended to transporting large volumes of goods with high precision over short distances.

“Now we have the opportunity to implement Vera in an ideal setting and further develop her potential for other similar operations,” said Mikael Karlsson, Vice President Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks.

Volvo says the connected system will consist of several Vera vehicles monitored by a control tower. The solution is meant for repetitive flows with a maximum speed of 40 km/h (25 mph). The purpose of the system is to enable a seamless and constant flow that is responsive to demands on greater efficiency, flexibility, and sustainability. The collaboration with DFDS is a first step toward implementing Vera in a real transport assignment on pre-defined public roads in an industrial area.

“We want to be at the forefront of connected, autonomous transportation. This collaboration will help us develop an efficient, flexible, and sustainable long-term solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates, benefitting our customers, the environment, and our business,” said Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

The company adds that the autonomous transport solution will be further developed in terms of technology, operations management, and infrastructure adaptations before it can be fully operational. Additionally, necessary safety precautions will be taken to meet societal requirements for a safe path toward autonomous transports.

“Autonomous transports with low noise levels and zero exhaust emissions have an important role to play in the future of logistics, and will benefit both business and society. We see this collaboration as an important start and want to drive progress in this area. Vera may have a speed limit, but we don’t. Testing has already started, and we intend to implement the solution within the coming years,” added Karlsson.