Volvo’s Latest Autonomous Truck Concept Is Just Motors, Wheels and a Battery

The Tesla Semi represents Tesla’s attempted move into the trucking market.Image: Tesla

What is the Tesla Semi?

Unveiled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in November 2017, the Tesla Semi is the company’s entry into the commercial trucking market, a completely electric vehicle complete with an ‘autopilot’ function to help provide assistance with semi-autonomous driving and safety for truckers over long journeys.

Tesla also claim that with fewer systems to maintain, the Tesla Semi can save the operator fuel costs of over $200,000 over a two-year period. Tesla guarantees the truck won’t break down for a million miles because it is capable of running on just two of its four independent motors.

Following the introduction of Volvo’s new electric trucks earlier this year, the automaker has gone a step further and chopped its autonomous truck concept down to the bare essentials with the new Volvo Vera.

Looking almost exactly like the evil autonomous trucker pods from 2017’s Logan, the Volvo Vera is the company’s latest look at what our autonomous shipping future could look like.

Keeping track of every new car and knowing when they’re due to go on sale can be tough, especially if you’re only interested in EVs. There are so many due to arrive over the next twelve months, so it’s worth learning how long you’ll be waiting for the one you want to go on sale. 2019 will see major launches from well-known electric pioneers like Tesla, Nissan and Renault, as well as new entrants to the category from the likes of Audi, Mini, DS, Skoda and more. The first half of 2020 looks to be even more stacked, as manufacturers work hard to meet increasingly tough emissions rules with the introduction of more all-electric models. Here is our comprehensive list of what EVs are coming when in the car industry.

According to Volvo, the Vera is equipped with the same technology found in its 2018 electric trucks, which have up to 300 kWh in battery capacity with a reported max range of around 186 miles, and motors with a maximum power rating of nearly 500 horsepower. The pod doesn’t really look very aerodynamic in the way it exposes the flat end of the trailer to wind, which may be a benefit of keeping a taller truck design, but there’s no mention about aero just yet.

The Vera concept is intended to fit into the current logistics industry and to transport goods on repetitive routes over relatively short distances between fixed predetermined hubs. This means it should work on existing trailers, road networks and should be easy to integrate into existing operations, but in extremely limited scenarios.

Electricity is the future of the motor world and that fact brings a tear to the eyes of some car lovers. The hybrid and electrical cars we mostly see on the road are well tamed family cars, nothing that really makes your eyes turn and your heart race. Well I’m here to tell you there is no reason to fear. The cars you see here are all state of the art, high-tech, eco-friendly speed monsters.

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