Volvo has tested its fully autonomous truck in deep underground operations in Kristineberg mine, which is located 100km from Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden.  

The new self-driving truck is part of the company’s development project, which is aimed at improving transport flow and mine safety.

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Covering a distance of 7km, the truck has the capability to reach 1,320m underground in the narrow mine tunnels.

Volvo Group executive board member and chief technology officer Torbjörn Holmström said: “This is the world’s first fully self-driving truck to operate under such tough conditions.

"This is the world’s first fully self-driving truck to operate under such tough conditions."

“It is a true challenge to ensure that everything works meticulously more than 1,300m underground.”

The entirely self-driving truck is a specially equipped Volvo FMX and uses various sensors. It avoids both fixed and moving obstacles by continuously monitoring its surroundings.

Holmström further added: “No matter what type of vehicle we develop, safety is always our primary concern and this also applies to self-driving vehicles.

“I was convinced the truck would stop but naturally I felt a knot in my stomach until the truck applied its brakes.”

Simultaneously, an onboard transport system gathers data to optimise and coordinate the route, as well as fuel consumption.