This might be the first example of a truly driverless cargo truck taking to public roads. Autonomous trucks have already begun hauling cargo in pilotsacross the country, but these usually have a driver behind the wheel, just in case.
However, Volvo does put some caveats on Vera's capabilities. The tractor unit is designed for "repetitive" jobs and is best "suited for short distances" with a top speed of 40 km/h (about 25 mph). The announcement did not say how long it would travel on public roads between the facilities. When Volvo announced Vera in 2018 it said it was best suited for jobs like transportation between logistics hubs, "but additional use cases can also be applicable."
Vera's operations are handled through a central control center the vehicle connects to using a cloud interface. The plan for this pilot is to have "several Vera" units operating between the logistics center and the port. The control center is able to monitor the fleet of vehicles with information on their location, battery charge, load content, any service needs and other information, according to Volvo.
"Now we have the opportunity to implement Vera in an ideal setting and further develop her potential for other similar operations," Mikael Karlsson, the vice president autonomous solutions at Volvo Trucks, said in a statement.