New collaboration with Volvo Trucks: Autonomous trucks

In 2018, our customer Volvo Trucks presented its first electric and autonomous truck, Vera. Vera is designed for transporting large volumes of goods in repetitive assignments over short distances and with high precision.

Now DFDS has entered into an exciting collaboration with Volvo Trucks in order to implement Vera in a real transport assignment. This will be in the continuous flow of containers from DFDS’ Arendal Logistics Contract centre in Gothenburg via our Gothenburg Ro/Ro Terminal to APM Terminals, which is our neighbour in the port.

Over the next couple of years, the aim is to implement this as a connected system consisting of several Vera vehicles. The vehicles will be monitored by a control tower and provide a seamless and constant flow that will be able to meet demands for greater efficiency, flexibility and sustainability.

DFDS’ role will be to develop our systems so we can communicate directly with and handle the autonomous trucks when they arrive at our gates from where they will be taken to the APM Terminal for further transport into the world.

We are extremely pleased with this collaboration with Volvo Trucks. It will make our terminals the first to be prepared for a future that will without any doubt bring more autonomous trucks on the roads. Therefore, we aim to develop an efficient, flexible and sustainable solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates. It will benefit our customers, the environment and pave the way for future business,” says Torben Carlsen.

He emphasizes that safety will be the primary focus of the transport that will move at a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour.

“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. Testing has already started and we intend to implement the solution within the coming years”, says Mikael Karlsson, Vice President Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks.

DFDS’ involvement is managed as a DFDS project (not Ferry or Logistics) by Selina Lindquist on the commercial side and Matt Ellis on the technical side in close cooperation with the rest of the project team within DFDS Logistics Contracts, Gothenburg Ro/Ro Terminal as well as members from Headquarters. They report to an internal Steering Committee to ensure DFDS progress. Joint project progress is reported to a board represented by Torben Carlsen on DFDS side.

Niklas Andersson, Sophie-Kim Chapman and Morgan Olausson also played a big part in making this happen when we were asked if we wanted to team up. The project is located within Valdemar Warburg’s organization Digitizing the Core and Innovation.

The project is at an early stage, and the partners will be back later with more detailed information.

Follow Vera’s first assignment from logistics center to terminal and learn more about Volvo Trucks’ autonomous transport solution:

Torben Carlsen talks about DFDS’ role in Volvo Trucks’ autonomous transport project and the strong partnership that the two companies share:

Read more about the autonomous transport solution and get access to more images and videos here.

June 13, 2019