Volvo Construction Equipment will be among the first in the world to trial 5G mobile technology as part of a unique collaboration with mobile operator Telia Company.
Volvo CE will be in the enviable position in the global construction equipment industry of being able to test 5G enabled technologies at a test site in Eskilstuna, Sweden – potentially years ahead of 5G becoming available to the wider public.
Patrik Lundblad, Volvo CE’s Senior Vice President of Technology, says: “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 gamechanger for Volvo CE.”
This new generation of mobile network is expected to deliver transfer speeds considerably faster 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 its facility in Eskilstuna and use it to expand its competences and develop its ongoing research into autonomous technology.
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.”
Image: Volvo’s remote-controlled wheel loader developed as part of the PIMM project