VTNA to Offer Volvo on Demand, Unveils Production-Ready Autonomous Truck

May 20, 2024

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) and Volvo Financial Services (VFS) announced the creation of Volvo on Demand, a new Truck-as-a-Service (TaaS) business model for fleets looking to electrify their operations.

Volvo on Demand was designed as a way to simplify the process and reduce the upfront investment needed to purchase battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). It provides qualified customers with flexible term options as short as 12 months and includes Volvo Trucks’ Gold Contract and the option to bundle vehicle insurance for physical damage and collision, route planning and optimization guidance, as well as consultation to find the best charging solution and incentives that might be available.

“Volvo on Demand is the easiest way for customers to add a battery-electric truck to their fleet by providing the ability to test the technology and understand the requirements to operate an electric fleet without a substantial upfront investment,” said Charles Carter, vice president, services and solutions, Volvo Financial Services. “We see this solution being exceptionally beneficial to many segments including drayage, regional haul, last mile and smaller fleets, who are tasked with delivering more sustainable transportation solutions for their customers.”

A competitive mileage rate throughout the contract term provides flexibility, with a single monthly invoice encompassing all selected services, charging hardware, and insurance. VFS kickstarted the Volvo on Demand program with 25 Volvo VNR Electric trucks, including 20 6×4 tractors with the six-battery configuration and five 4×2 tractors with the four-battery configuration.

Volvo on Demand is being launched in the U.S. in areas with a nearby Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle dealership, which includes 59 locations across 31 states and Canadian provinces.

“We have a number of customers who have expressed interest in adding the VNR Electric to their operation but want to understand how it will fit within their specific applications,” said Jared Ruiz, regional vice president, Volvo Trucks North America. “With Volvo on Demand through VFS, they can gain valuable experience before making large upfront capital investments. With Volvo on Demand customers can get a single truck or a few trucks with portable 50 kWh chargers to gain real world experience while making plans to scale, including accounting for potential lead times on charging infrastructure installation, with flexible payment terms.”

The OEM also unveiled its first-ever production ready autonomous truck, the Volvo VNL Autonomous.

“We are at the forefront of a new way to transport goods, complementing and enhancing transportation capacity, and thereby enabling trade and societal growth,” states Nils Jaeger, President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “This truck is the first of our standardized global autonomous technology platform, which will enable us to introduce additional models in the future, bringing autonomy to all Volvo Group truck brands, and to other geographies and use cases.”

Volvo’s and Aurora’s engineering teams have worked closely together to integrate the Volvo VNL Autonomous and the Aurora Driver, an SAE L4 autonomous driving system. The Aurora Driver consists of powerful AI software, dual computers, proprietary lidar that can detect objects more than 400 meters away, high-resolution cameras, imaging radar, and additional sensors, enabling the Volvo VNL Autonomous to safely navigate the world around it.

Image of Volvo's VNL Autonomous, equipped with Aurora's SAE L4 autonomous driving system.

Image: VAS

“Powered by the Aurora Driver, the new Volvo VNL Autonomous is the realization of our shared vision,” said Sterling Anderson, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Aurora. “This truck combines Aurora’s industry-leading self-driving technology with Volvo’s best-in-class truck, designed specifically for autonomy, making it a must-have for any transport provider that wants to strengthen and grow their business.”

The Aurora Driver has been extensively trained and tested in Aurora’s virtual suite where it’s driven billions of miles. It also has driven 1.5 million commercial miles on public roads.