Autonomous Solutions

More than autonomous trucks- Building the ecosystem for autonomous transport solutions in ports and logistics centers.

Ports and logistics centers are one of the key customer segments for Volvo Autonomous Solutions. Our solution will effectively transport high volume of goods in repetitive flows 24/7.
Volvo FH Truck in the port of Gothenburg

Our first implementation in our hometown, Gothenburg, Sweden is a solution that integrates electric and autonomous trucks connected with our cloud-based control tower. The autonomous vehicle fleet will move containers from a DFDS logistics center in Gothenburg to an APMT container terminal in the Port of Gothenburg. The project is a result of our close collaboration between Volvo Autonomous Solutions and the ferry and logistics company DFDS, Gothenburg RoRo Terminal, the terminal operator APM Terminals, the real estate company Platzer and the Port of Gothenburg.


Building the Ecosystem

The logistics industry is in transition to become increasingly more digitalized and automated, creating efficiency and transparency in supply chain systems. Thanks to our V.A.S. Cloud solution, we can integrate with other logistic systems such as freight forwarding systems and terminal operating systems. The result is a fully integrated, seamless, and optimized autonomous transport ecosystem that gives our customers peace of mind to allow them to focus on their core business, their goods, and their operations.

In collaboration with our commercial partner, DFDS, we are developing a cloud-based ecosystem for each company to enable autonomous operations in ports and logistics centers.

The partners have achieved an important milestone in the development of this ecosystem by establishing the integration necessary for the V.A.S. Cloud solution to communicate with the DFDS platform for the planning and monitoring of the autonomous transport missions. The focus is on safe, efficient, clean, and reliable transports and continuous improvements of the operations.

A key enabler for introducing autonomous transport in ports and logistics centers is to securely automate the gate interaction process for high security areas such as port terminals and logistics facilities. The partners have developed a solution to automate the gate interaction process that allows each autonomous vehicle to negotiate access into the port terminal and DFDS’s logistic center. 


As part of the solution, DFDS has built an automatic gate at the DFDS site and Gothenburg RoRo Terminal that will be able to identify each vehicle and verify the information provided by the V.A.S. cloud. This gives secure access to the autonomous vehicles without any manual intervention. The system also provides instructions of where to go inside the site automatically.

The result is automated gate passages that provides the real time ETA of each approaching vehicle and monitors and compares their movement inside a site and allows automatic communication when deviations occur.  This will lead to better overall transportation planning and contribute to more efficient terminal operations on the DFDS side. The solution will comply with ISPS and safety requirements, which is a key enabler for scaling autonomous transport solutions in port terminals globally.

“We have worked in close collaboration with V.A.S. and the wider Volvo Group over the past few years, reimagining what the gate process will look like when there is no longer human and manual intervention at the gate. Our tight interaction and involvement in the development of the ecosystem has meant that we have not only looked at the interaction at the physical barrier but also what could and should happen before and after, instructing the vehicle alongside the driver.  The ecosystem based solution that we have jointly built has meant there is increased visibility, communication, understanding, and opportunities throughout the transport’s journey to, through and at the sites.  We are excited to confirm that the gate interaction process is working and are looking forward to seeing the efficiencies that can come from the digital interaction today and how those will be further enhanced in the autonomous future." says Matt Ellis Innovation Lead (Autonomous), DFDS

” Building a smooth and efficient gate process is crucial for any terminal. Automatically handling port access from public roads into terminals is a key enabler for Port automation and optimization. With this important milestone we demonstrate the capability to handle automatic gate access into high security ISPS areas. This also means that we can eliminate some of the inefficiencies in the current transport segment, such as congestion at port entry, resulting in faster operations, less land required and other benefits. With our solution we are drastically reducing noise and emissions, not only because we use clean, electric vehicles, but because we contribute to more efficient operations at our partner’s site, “ says Rickard Legnestam Head of Sales Port and Logistics Centers, Volvo Autonomous Solutions. 

The project is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, and Swedish innovation financier Vinnova.


• The assignment is to move containers in commercial operation from the DFDS logistics center in Gothenburg to an APM Terminals container terminal 

• The vehicle fleet will operate safely on public road and in port terminals, and consists of autonomous and electric vehicles equipped with sophisticated systems for autonomous driving

• The solution is suited for large repetitive flows of goods

• Infrastructure adaptations are part of the scope in the implementation of the total transport system, including automated gates at the terminals. 

• The Volvo Autonomous Solutions Cloud builds on the technology developed by Volvo Group Connected Solutions that today powers more than 1 million connected vehicles and machines from Volvo.

• Volvo Autonomous Solutions, DFDS and APM Terminals are main partners and Platzer and the Port of Gothenburg are important contributors in implementing the Autonomous Transport Solution in Gothenburg.  

• The initiative is carried out with support from the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish Energy Agency through the Strategic vehicle research and innovation program FFI. In addition, financing is granted from CEF, EU-Horizon 2020. 

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For further information, please contact:

Ceren Wende
Head of Marketing and Communication, Volvo Autonomous Solutions
Phone: + 46 31 322 4536