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DFDS and Volvo trial autonomous trucking solution to Gothenburg port

Ferry operator DFDS is taking autonomous transport shoreside. The Danish company has entered into a collaboration with Volvo Trucks concerning their electric, connected and autonomous vehicle Vera. The aim is to develop and test an integrated solution for transporting goods from a logistics centre to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden, using Vera.

The collaboration will implement Vera in a real application, enabling a connected system for a continuous flow of goods, from a DFDS logistics centre to an APM terminal in the port, for distribution across the world.

In 2018, Volvo Trucks presented its first electric, connected and autonomous solution, designed for repetitive assignments in logistics centres, factories and ports. Vera is suited for short distances, transporting large volumes of goods with high precision.

“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.

The collaboration with DFDS is a first step towards implementing Vera in a real transport assignment on pre-defined public roads in an industrial area.

The solution is suited for repetitive flows with a maximum speed of 40 km/h.

The initiative is being carried out with support from the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish Energy Agency.

“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 port terminal gates, benefitting our customers, the environment and our business” said Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

Around the world similar initiatives are underway, most notably in Singapore where terminal operator PSA and local authorities have been trialling autonomous trucks carrying containers for the last two years.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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