“A higher degree of automation leads to
steadier transport flows, with fewer stops and
starts, and that reduces emissions and creates
productivity. Automation also drives the
development of safety technologies, even for
applications where the driver is in the vehicle.”
LARS MÅRTENSSON, DIRECTOR Environment
and Innovation at Volvo Trucks, expects that the
development of electromobility will be another
huge factor in goods transport, especially
in the cities. Once in place on a broad scale,
electromobility can affect the whole urban
“By 2030, we won’t have traffic congestion in
cities. A major solution is that the trucks in cities
are electric and significantly more quiet so that
deliveries take place during off-peak hours.”
Lars Mårtensson is very hopeful about the
possible environmental gains from new tech.
“In the future, trucks will have a small
impact on the environment. Thanks to
intelligent transport systems, in which trucks
and infrastructure communicate, vehicles will
coordinate better and become much more
effective. For long-distance transport, natural
gas and bio gas will become the main alternatives
At the same time, he thinks that it is important
to further plan for and develop established
“Whatever the fuel, it’s important that trucks
become energy efficient and there is strong
potential to develop that, through better tyres,
less air resistance and lighter materials,” says
FINDING A BUSINESS model that can bridge
the transition to new technologies is key.
And a major task of the newly established
Transformation Office and Strategies is to
explore how automation is set to affect the entire
business model for transport.
Currently, Volvo Trucks is undertaking several
public pilots in the field together with strategic
partners in order to explore how automation can
make transport safer and cleaner.
“We see automation and electromobility as
having the potential to transform our business
model,” says Mikael Karlsson. “So, we are
pushing to see how we can sell transport
solutions as total solutions. For example,
by selling a subscription model – where the
customer buys transport instead of products.”
So far, interest has been strong.
“There are a lot of customers who would like to
work on large-scale transport solutions together
with us,” says Mikael Karlsson.
Read more about electric trucks
on pages 54–55.
VOLVO GROUP MAGAZINE 2.2018 51