Volvo will provide the company with its first commercial autonomous solution, which will be used to transport limestone from an open pit mine to a nearby port.
Through the agreement, six autonomous Volvo FH trucks will transport limestone on a five kilometer stretch through tunnels between the mine itself and the crusher, according to a news release. The solution has already been tested, and tests will continue throughout 2018. The trucks are scheduled to become fully operational by the end of 2019.
The agreement represents a first for Volvo Trucks. Instead of purchasing autonomous trucks, Brønnøy Kalk is buying a solution to transport limestone between the two hubs.
“It is exciting to reach this point where we introduce autonomous solutions,” said Sasko Cuklev, Director Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks, according to the release. “By working in a confined area on a predetermined route, we can find out how to get the best out of the solution and tailor it according to specific customer needs. This is all about collaborating to develop new solutions, providing greater flexibility and efficiency as well as increased productivity.”
The agreement involves a deal where Brønnøy Kalk buys a total transport service and pays per ton delivered.
“This is an important step for us,” said Raymond Langfjord, Managing Director of the mine. “The competition in the industry is tough. We are continuously looking to increase our efficiency and productivity long-term, and we have a clear vision of taking advantage of new opportunities in technology and digital solutions. We were searching for a reliable and innovative partner that shares our focus on sustainability and safety. Going autonomous will greatly increase our competitiveness in a tough global market.”