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Holcim trials autonomous hauler

Digger Blogger | 09:00, Thu November 04 2021

Volvo and Holcim have teamed up to test and further develop the use of autonomous electric haulers in a limestone quarry in Switzerland.

Volvo Autonomous Solutions and Holcim Switzerland are collaborating in trials at Holcim’s Gabenchopf quarry in Siggenthal.

The battery-electric haulers that are the world's first commercially available CE-certified electric, autonomous transport solution for the quarry and cement industries, Volvo says.

“This project show-cases a sustainable transport solution that is commercially viable and combines the technology shifts of connectivity, automation and electrification,” says Nils Jaeger,pPresident of Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “Through a strong partnership with Holcim Switzerland this will happen in a real environment driven by two committed companies dedicated to jointly presenting the future.”

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Simon Kronenberg, CEO of Holcim Switzerland and Italy, adds: “Our participation in this project represents another step towards fulfilling our sustainability objectives: we seek solutions that are both innovative and environmentally responsible and we are constantly investing in measures to reduce our ecological footprint in order to help build a sustainable future.”

With the cement and concrete industry under such pressure over its massive carbon bootprint, Holcim has been using 100% renewable electrical energy at all of its sites since 2019, it says, and makes a point of using only green energy for electrically powered vehicles such as the electric concrete truck mixers that are already in use.

As part of a wider initiative, Holcim is also testing automation technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence throughout the entire production process in a bid to develop solutions for more efficient and more sustainable cement production.

Nils Jaeger concludes: “Volvo’s ambition is nothing less but to bring the future of infrastructure and transport solutions to our customers in a commercially viable way, and this innovative commercial project represents the next phase of this journey.”


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