The Vera autonomous, electric truck from Volvo’s trucking subsidiary is not what you might expect in a transport truck — it looks like a road-hugging sportscar, something emphasized by its lack of a place for humans to sit. The real reason it looks like this is that it’s totally self-driving, however — and tailor-made for use in specific situations like serving the Swedish port in Gothenburg where it’ll soon begin operations.
Vera’s inaugural job will be to move goods packed in cargo trailers from a logistics center to the actual port terminal, where it’ll be loaded onto boats for transport. This first commercial use of the connected, electric freight-moving vehicle will be done in partnership with logistics company DFDS.
Use of the Vera will make up one part of a larger connected system to move goods from the logistics center to distribution destinations around the world. They’ll operate autonomously but be monitored by a central operator working out of a control tower, and they’ll be operating at a top speed of only around 24 mph.
These are basically just heavy-duty land tugs for now, but if successful, there’s a lot of potential business to be had in providing similar services for shipping-port facilities around the world.