Volvo Group has deployed new self-driving truck at Kristineberg deep underground mine located 100km from Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden for testing.

Developed for mining industry as part of a research and development project, the Volvo’s fully autonomous truck is designed to improve the transport flow and safety in the mine.

The research project is being undertaken by Volvo in partnership with Saab, through its wholly owned technology consulting company Combitech. It aims to develop a fully autonomous transport system solution.

Capable of covering a distance of 7km, the truck can reach 1,320m underground in the narrow mine tunnels using various sensors.

Volvo Group CTO Torbjörn Holmström said: “This is the world’s first fully self-driving truck to operate under such tough conditions. It is a true challenge to ensure that everything works meticulously more than 1300 meters underground.”

Volvo Group said it has filmed the operations of the autonomous trucks in harsh operating conditions in the Kristineberg mine.

Torbjörn Holmström, who takes part in the film, said: “No matter what type of vehicle we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this also applies to self-driving vehicles.”

The truck is capable of continuously monitoring its surroundings while navigating fixed and movable obstacles.

It can also gather data through its transport system for further optimization of its route and fuel consumption.

Image: Volvo's self-driving truck. Photo: courtesy of Volvo Group.