Volvo CE has teamed up with telecoms companies Telia and Ericsson to get a fifth-generation (5G) mobile network at its research and development facility in Eskilstuna. This will be used to trial remote control construction machinery and fully automated solutions.
“Automation has several levels and having 5G is an important technical support to enable us to drive development in this area,” says Volvo CE president Melker Jernberg. “These trials in Eskilstuna will include the remote control of a conventional wheel loader but also further tests of the HX2 concept load carrier.”
Anders Olsson, CEO of Telia Sweden, adds: “We can see that the industry’s interest in 5G is considerable. Automation of the entire flow will mean new ways of working and greater gains from efficiency. But to connect business-critical machines and vehicles requires a solution that is able to handle the massive amounts of data with guaranteed connection. That is what 5G can give us.”
Todays’ remote-control technology has a time lag that makes it difficult to control at high speed or with high precision. 5G will make remote control simpler and safer, Volvo says.
Ericsson head of research Magnus Frodigh explains: “With extremely short response times, high capacity, and a high level of accessibility to the mobile network, commercial and standardized 5G technology can be used for applications such as remote control of heavy machinery in real time. This opens up new opportunities for greater efficiency, cutting costs and reducing risk in hazardous environments. 5G enables us to create a safer, more efficient and sustainable society. In cooperation with Telia and Volvo CE, we are now putting theory into practice in Eskilstuna.”
Volvo’s Melker Jernberg concludes: “We are testing locally in Eskilstuna, but we operate globally. Connected machines and autonomous solutions are the future. They can give our customers more efficient production, logistics, greater flexibility and safer work. By minimizing the potential safety risks and downtime associated with sectors such as mining, we can get closer to our goal of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero unplanned stops. It will be exciting to see how far 5G can take us on that journey.”