Self-Steering Volvo Truck Tested at Brazil Farm
GPS receivers, gyroscopes take over steering duties in Volvo truck. Volvo Trucks is field-testing a self-steering truck designed to avoid damage to soil and crops at a sugar-cane farm in southern Brazil. The truck, used to transport newly harvested sugar cane, can increase productivity by minimizing damage to young plants that will form the following year’s crop, Volvo Trucks says in a news release.
Using GPS receivers, the truck follows a coordinate-based map across the field. Two gyroscopes ensure the truck is steered with precision, preventing it from veering more than 1 in. (25 mm) laterally from its set course. A driver controls speed and braking while driving alongside a harvester.
The self-steering technology allows the driver to concentrate on keeping up with the harvester, the release says. Conventional trucks steered by drivers cause about 4% of the crop to be lost as young plants are run over and the soil is compacted by moving vehicles. “With the help of Volvo Trucks’ solution we can increase productivity, not just for one single crop but for the entire lifecycle of the sugar-cane plant, which lasts five to six years,” says Paulo Meneguetti, finance and procurement director-Usina Santa Terezinha Group, which also produces ethanol at its farm.
More self-steering trucks will be field-tested this summer, with the technology becoming “commercially available in the foreseeable future,” the release says.
Volvo Trucks also is testing an autonomous truck for mining operations in northern Sweden and an autonomous refuse-collection truck in Gothenburg, Sweden.