Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.) has achieved a significant milestone by successfully removing the safety driver from an active commercial mining operation at the Brönnöy Kalk mine in Velfjord, Norway.
The pioneering autonomous transport solution designed for Brönnöy Kalk comprises seven fully autonomous Volvo FH trucks equipped with V.A.S.'s proprietary virtual driver technology. These trucks operate in demanding conditions, including steep inclines, harsh weather, and long tunnels with limited visibility, as they transport limestone from the mine to the crusher.
Nils Jaeger, the President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions, expressed the significance of this achievement, stating, “A long-cherished vision has now materialized. The elimination of the safety driver from a challenging commercial transport operation marks a significant advancement for the industry. This accomplishment underscores our leadership in autonomous driving and sets the stage for a safer and more efficient future in the mining and quarrying sectors.”
Raymond Langfjord, the Managing Director of Brönnöy Kalk, echoed the sentiment, saying, “This marks a momentous stride for us. We embraced autonomous trucks for various reasons, including safety, efficiency, and flexibility. With the removal of the safety driver, we can fully harness these advantages, enhancing our competitiveness in this demanding industry.”
The comprehensive solution implemented at Brönnöy Kalk has been in development since 2018, signifying not only a remarkable technological breakthrough but also the introduction of innovative business models. Instead of purchasing individual trucks or machinery, Brönnöy Kalk is procuring autonomous transport capacity from V.A.S.
Sven-Erik Gustafsson, the Head of Solutions for Mining and Quarry at V.A.S., emphasized the approach of providing an all-encompassing solution to simplify the integration of new technologies into existing operations. He stated, “While autonomy offers unprecedented benefits to the industry, integrating new technologies into ongoing operations can present challenges. By delivering a comprehensive solution that covers software, infrastructure, training, and operational support, we streamline complexity for clients like Brönnöy Kalk, enabling them to embrace the autonomous future.”