Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.) has reached an industry-first accomplishment by eliminating the safety driver from its commercial mining operation at Brönnöy Kalk mine in Velfjord, Norway. The autonomous transport setup involves seven Volvo FH trucks operated by V.A.S.’s self-developed virtual driver. Designed to handle extreme weather, steep slopes, and dark tunnels, these trucks autonomously transport limestone from the mining site to a crusher.
Why It Matters
The removal of the safety driver marks a monumental advancement in autonomous technology for commercial mining. Nils Jaeger, President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions, emphasized the significance of this development, stating, “This is a crucial step towards safer and more efficient operations in mining and quarrying industries.” Raymond Langfjord, Managing Director of Brönnöy Kalk, added, “The full-scale deployment allows us to significantly improve safety and efficiency, thereby enhancing our competitive edge in a demanding industry.”
- The autonomous system has been in development since 2018 and signifies a breakthrough in technology.
- Brönnöy Kalk does not purchase the trucks but buys autonomous transport capacity from V.A.S.
- The package includes:
- Seven Volvo FH Trucks
- In-house developed virtual drivers specifically for confined areas
- Infrastructure, training, and a comprehensive maintenance program
- A wheel loader operator manages the autonomous trucks using a touchscreen interface for loading and operational oversight.
Volvo Autonomous Solutions is spearheading industry innovation by fully automating its commercial mining trucks, thereby eliminating the need for safety drivers. This marks a pivotal moment in the broader adoption of autonomous technologies in mining and other challenging sectors. The complete solution provided by V.A.S. significantly reduces complexity for customers like Brönnöy Kalk, enabling them to transition seamlessly into an autonomous future.