Vera, from Volvo Trucks, is a completely autonomous semi-trailer—that’s right, no driver on this hauler. In fact, there’s not even a cab. Instead, Vera slides under the front of the trailer, almost disappearing under it. Vera uses standard trailer hookups, so new trailers won’t be needed. It also utilizes Volvo’s powertrain that already exists in their electric trucks. Plus Vera can use existing infrastructure, which represents a huge savings in cost.
Vera is intended for short-distance, repetitive deliveries, such as those that you might find in a port or airport. Vera is an electric vehicle that can take charge of these types of needs. The trucks are controlled by a central control center that communicates with the trucks wirelessly. The control center coordinates the routes for maximum efficiency based on the truck’s battery charge level, cargo type, service requirements, and location. On the ground level, the trucks communicate with each other to maintain safety and to prevent accidents. Because Vera is electric, it has no exhaust emissions and is nearly silent, so it can be run any time of the day or night.
With a shortage of trained and skilled drivers, Vera will be able to meet a need for current industry while also helping to keep the world that much more green.