Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.) recently announced the removal of the safety driver in an active commercial mining operation at Brönnöy Kalk mine in Velfjord, Norway. The autonomous transport solution developed for Brönnöy Kalk consists of seven fully autonomous Volvo FH trucks and V.A.S.’s in-house developed virtual driver, according to the press release. Operating in challenging conditions that include steep inclination, extreme weather and long stretches of dark tunnels, the trucks haul limestone from the mine to the crusher.
According to the company, the solution implemented at Brönnöy Kalk has been in development since 2018 and represents not just a major breakthrough in technology but also provides new business models. This is because rather than purchasing a truck or machine, Brönnöy Kalk is buying autonomous transport capacity from V.A.S.
The company notes that the trucks are used to transport limestone between the mine and crusher on a five kilometer stretch that covers tunnels and outdoor environment. The wheel loader operator uses a touch screen in the wheel loader to call the trucks for loading and to manage the operation.