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Volvo’s autonomous driving arm has unveiled a prototype of its long-range autonomous truck.

The prototype, built-in collaboration with fellow autonomous driving company Aurora, is an adapted version of the existing VNL series of trucks.

“Volvo Autonomous Solutions is proud to take our first, major steps toward the autonomous Volvo VNL in North America,” says Nils Jaeger, president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions.

“Our long-standing customer base and their priorities are at the forefront of our path forward in shaping autonomous trucking. We strongly believe in a future in which safe, sustainable, efficient transport solutions are essential for any society to prosper, and autonomous commercial trucking is an important piece of that transformation.”

Volvo Vnl Autonomous Truck Sensor
A sensor fitted to the prototype truck.

However, Volvo expects that this new truck will not only be a big step towards self-driving deliveries but will also be instrumental in “paving the way towards… delivering comprehensive and seamless Transport as a Service solutions for autonomous commercial trucks.”

Perhaps, then, Volvo is anticipating a major change in the way logistics and haulage companies operate in the not-too-distant future. 

“We are proud that our Volvo VNL model will serve as the foundation for the development of North American autonomous trucks to offer our customers the next generation of safe, efficient and sustainable transport solutions,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.

Volvo and Aurora are also working on implementing their “hub-to-hub” transport vision for North America. This vision includes identifying specific regions and routes to serve as the initial hubs for on-road highway testing. 

Volvo also says it is “working closely with customers to understand their current and future needs” in preparation for testing its trucks and commercial adoption of the tech.

“We believe that autonomous solutions will complement the transport system of today and will be implemented where there is a purpose and where it makes sense,” says Sasko Cuklev, head of on-road solutions for Volvo Autonomous Solutions.

“It is important for us to be part of this transformation, and together with our customers and partners, to be a leader in building up the new ecosystem.”

At present, however, there are no set dates for testing or commercial availability.

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