The Volvo Group has taken a leadership position in creating green solutions for cars. But, we create significant pollution from more than cars. But Volvo also produces construction equipment through its division Volvo CE. Although these four-wheeled vehicles don’t transport people, they do transport materials.
- Volvo applies green transport solutions for industrial use.
- The project involved creating new prototype autonomous vehicles.
- The research could have provide valuable data for self-driving cars.
- Electrifying the heavy equipment also reduced carbon emissions by 98 percent.
As part of its Electric Site Research project, Volvo CE ran a 10-week program in late 2018 to electrify as many elements as possible in the quarry. It partnered with Skanska Sweden, the Swedish Energy Agency and two Swedish universities – Linköping University and Mälardalen University.
The team had to think holistically about the site, from excavation to primary crushing and transport to secondary crushing. It involved developing new machines, work methods and site management systems. Prototype machines included the HX02 autonomous hauler, a hybrid wheel loader (LX01) and a grid-connected excavator (EX01).
The site, which won the Volvo Technology award, incorporated all types of transport models to reduce pollution, save money and improve efficiency: hybrids, full-electric and autonomous. There was a 98% reduction in carbon emissions, a 70% reduction in energy cost and a 40% reduction in operator cost. The results even amazed those involved in the project.
The innovation Volvo achieved in the quarry is also applicable for the future of self-driving cars. In order to function, the autonomous quarry machinery relied upon collecting a lot of data, driving in poor conditions in a constantly changing environment. It even recognized obstacles representing objects as small as people and maneuvered around or stopped.