Volvo says automation won’t displace drivers

by Truck News

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) says its work towards automation will focus on safety and the driver, and it has created videos to highlight its efforts in this area.

Volvo says its work on automation isn’t intended to replace the driver.

Volvo says the rapid advancement of automation can give the impression of a “faceless and functional future,” but that Volvo sees it differently. It says it will focus on developing solutions to help make the lives of professional drivers, motor carriers, and other road users safer and easier.

“At some point in the future, self-driving Volvo trucks will be a reality on our roads in North America and part of our society, probably starting in confined or private areas under controlled conditions,” said Göran Nyberg, president of VTNA. “We continue preparing for deployment of trucks with higher levels of advanced driver assistance systems, but exact timing depends on many things, namely regulations, infrastructure and safety standards, and market demand.”

Volvo has produced a two-part film series that explores future truck technology, and outlines its vision for how it can be deployed.

“Automation will improve productivity and safety,” said Sasko Cuklev, Volvo Trucks’ global director of autonomous solutions. “It will allow us to optimize traffic management and route planning, and reduce equipment wear. Automation will help us develop more energy efficient solutions, and with solutions like platooning we will be able to decrease fuel consumption.”

“Automation is not about eliminating jobs,” added Ann-Sofi Karlsson, Volvo Trucks’ global director of human factors for automation. “Skilled professional drivers will still be in high demand. As trade and the world population continues to grow, so does the transport of goods. Automation is about making it more efficient.”

The videos can be found on Youtube here and here.

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