In order to demonstrate how its fully-autonomous vehicles can cope with extreme terrains and driving condtions, Volvo is releasing a video showing a self-driving Volvo FMX truck operating in Sweden’s Kristineberg Mine, more than 1,300 metres below ground. “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,” said Torbjörn Holmström, member of the Volvo Group Executive Board and Volvo Group Chief Technology Officer.
Holmström took part in the film, standing in the middle of the mine gallery and not flinching as the self-driving truck approached him.
“No matter what type of vehicle we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this also applies to self-driving vehicles. I was convinced the truck would stop but naturally I felt a knot in my stomach until the truck applied its brakes!” said Holmström.
The film can be seen at www.volvogroup.com/automation. In addition to the film the website has extra material including interviews with Volvo Group’s autonomous truck specialists.
This is the second major announcement on autonomous driving to emanate from Gothenburg this week. On Tuesday (6 September), Volvo Cars (which was formerly part of the Volvo group, but is now owned by China’s Geely Holding Group) revealed that it was setting up a joint venture company with Autoliv to develop next generation autonomous driving software which can be used both in Volvo’s own vehicles and those of other manufacturers.