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May 29, 2016

VOLVO's news * Sweden - New robot mining trucks get rolling

* Stockholm - Descent of the machines: Driverless lorries ... How long before they appear on roads?

(Video from Guardian Wires - May 25, 2016)

 -- In a disused military aircraft hangar buried deep in a granite hillside, Johan Tofeldt flicks a switch on the future of mining... The cheerful Swede is sitting in a standard Volvo FMX heavy duty truck, a haulage industry workhorse. But where once there was a narrow bed behind the seat there is now a laptop and a tangle of wires. This is Volvo Group’s driverless truck, designed to work in underground mines far beyond the limits of GPS navigation... Hitting a button on the dashboard turns the vehicle into a robot. A controller in a remote location sends a digital “mission” to the truck, which sets off into the gloom, threading itself through narrow gaps in the deserted tunnels... Six lidar (light radar) laser sensors positioned around the vehicle generate a cloud of data points, creating a 3D map of the surroundings and enabling the truck to navigate precisely and, in principle, to respond to unexpected obstacles or people... Tofeldt has no illusions about the obstacles ahead. Volvo’s driverless trucks will be piloted in a real mine in northern Sweden in the autumn, which will bring a host of complications... 
Gothenburg, Sweden - The Guardian (UK), by David Crouch - 26 May 2016

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