Volvo joins pioneering 5G pilot

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Volvo CE is seeking to push the boundaries of autonomous technology by being among the first in the world to trial 5G mobile technology.

The construction equipment firm has joined a two-year pilot project run by mobile operator Telia Company that will give it opportunity to test its 5G-enabled technologies at a test site in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

Patrik Lundblad, Volvo CE’s senior vice president of technology, said, “The advantages of a faster, more reliable 5G network represent a huge step forward in connectivity. Within the construction industry it opens up great potential for processing mobile data and will inevitably impact the ways in which our machines communicate and interact remotely. To be at the forefront of this digital revolution and collaborate on developing new technologies is a game-changer for Volvo CE.”

This new generation of mobile network is expected to deliver transfer speeds considerably greater than the current 4G network – and is therefore capable of transporting huge amounts of data in far less time. Volvo CE will test its potential by creating a local cellular network at the facility and use it for its ongoing research into increasing safety and productivity through autonomous technology.

Mining benefits
In sectors such as mining, where it can take several hours of ventilation after blasting rocks before the environment is safe enough for operators to enter, moving closer to removing humans from the production site entirely will bring great advantages in productivity and safety.

Calle Skillsäter, Volvo CE’s technical specialist for connected machines, said, “5G allows us to transport data in ways that we could only ever dream about and can increase the possibilities for autonomous and remote-controlled machines in our future.

“By eliminating the potential safety hazards and downtime associated with operations like mining, we can move closer to fulfilling our ambitions to deliver zero emissions, zero accidents and zero unplanned stops.”

Only a handful of companies from across the Nordic countries – and from a range of different industries – will be chosen to take part in the two-year program.

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter who keeps him busy.

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