Volvo has demonstrated yet another potential use case for autonomous transport after its Volvo Buses subsidiary showcased a self-driving bus that’s capable of transporting itself around depots.
The Swedish automotive giant partnered with public transport company Keolis to configure a 12 metre electric bus that can traverse between parking bays and work stations, ensuring that it’s cleaned, serviced, and fully charged before moving back to the correct bay.
As with many new demonstrations of autonomous technology, Volvo stresses that this is less about replacing humans than it is about improving efficiency and safety.
“This marks a very important step in our autonomous journey, as we now have successfully shown the commercial benefits an autonomous solution can deliver in a bus depot,” noted Volvo Buses president Håkan Agnevall.
“Autonomous buses in depots bring new benefits, such as more efficient traffic flows, higher productivity, [fewer] damages, and improved safety.”
As more vehicle manufacturers commit to an electric future to cut emissions — including Volvo itself, which now only makes hybrid or electric cars — the underlying charging infrastructure is evolving to make the process as smooth as possible.