Volvo shares are higher Thursday, after the Swedish car manufacturer unveiled a new electric, autonomous, cab free truck. Vera, as the vehicle is called, is not yet available for sale and is still under development. However, Volvo said it anticipates it could work well in confined areas in the not too distant future.
By 1300 BST, Volvo shares were 0.56% higher at SEK153.60. The stock had been steady-to-a-little higher, in recent weeks.
Volvo’s autonomous truck
Volvo is the world’s second largest truck manufacturer and it shared its plans for an electric, self-driving commercial vehicle Wednesday. The development of an autonomous truck come as demand for drivers remains high and the retention of employees in that role is low for many firms.
“This is yet another result of the exciting and innovative solutions we are working with in the areas of automation, electromobility and connectivity”, said Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer of the Volvo Group.
“It showcases the Volvo Group’s immense range of expertise and our solid technological knowhow,” Stenqvist added.
Currently, Volvo appears to be working on the assumption that it’s future, autonomous truck could prove very useful in confined areas, such as ports and delivery depots. That’s one reason why the model that was showcased in Berlin is cab-free. The Vera truck under development, is currently targeted at that market and not for the open road.
“We can see a boom in e-commerce, as well as overall global consumption and it shows no signs of slowing down,” said Mikael Karlsson, Volvo's Vice President of Autonomous Solutions.
“The industry needs to find new ways to meet the increased demand on transports in an efficient and sustainable way. Therefore, new solutions need to be developed to complement what's available today,” Karlsson added.
The truck could help ports and other delivery hubs to extend their working hours from the typical daytime operations, to a 24-hour system. That’s something that would likely appeal to the delivery and logistics industries around the world.