Autonomous Solutions

Guided by Safety: The Path to Driverless Trucks with Volvo

The Aurora Team
4 min
The Aurora Team
Aurora is delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly to make transportation safer, increasingly accessible, and more reliable and efficient than ever before.

News snapshot:

●       We’ve been closed track testing the all-new autonomous Volvo VNL since late 2023

●       The soon-to-be-released autonomous Volvo VNL is a purpose-designed, production-ready, autonomous truck with robust redundant systems for safety

Our goal with Volvo has always been simple but powerful: make our roads safer at commercial scale. Together, we are developing autonomous trucks with Volvo and launching an industry-leading driverless service with Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.).

“Volvo and Aurora are the emerging leaders in autonomous transportation,” said Nils Jaeger, the President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions at our recent Analyst and Investor day. “Jointly, we have the highest credibility, clear progress, and a clear roadmap to launch and scalable production. Together, we are building the strongest ecosystem in the AV space.”

Redundant by design

The all-new autonomous Volvo VNL has been developed with a focus on safety and reliability – distinctive characteristics that have defined the Volvo brand for almost 100 years. This purpose-built platform is the result of Volvo’s rigorous development process and, coupled with the Aurora Driver Development Program, is uniquely designed for deep integration with the Aurora Driver to allow for safe commercial operation at scale and without vehicle operators.

Together, we are currently testing critical functionality and will have complete validation of all safety-critical redundant systems before safely operating without a human driver. Volvo designed, developed, and installed these systems in close coordination with Aurora. This close partnership and lockstep development have laid the powerful and necessary groundwork for the large-scale deployment of trucks backed by the full might of Volvo’s design, production, sales, service, and support apparatus.

“It’s a complex undertaking to build an autonomous system and an autonomy-enabled truck. Anyone can do a proof of concept – anyone can do a demo. To put a truck on the road with redundancy built in is a completely different ball game,” added Jaeger.

Preparing for commercialization

Over the next year, we are focused on a sequence of critical steps to prepare for a successful driverless launch:

●       Ongoing safety, performance, and reliability tests of the Aurora Driver and redundant truck

●       Starting commercial pilots for key customers with a safety driver

●       Collecting the data necessary to confirm the combined system meets the exacting requirements of our
          Safety Case and Volvo’s industry-leading safety standards

This measured rollout follows automotive best practices developed and proven over decades for the introduction of new vehicle platforms. Our confidence in the rigor of the process matters to us and our customers.

For more on our work together and how safety drives our work, please check out V.A.S.’ “Perspectives on Autonomy” series on YouTube.

Do you wish to stay updated with the insights like this one? Subscribe to our newsletter.