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Förarlös dumper HX01
The battery-powered driverless hauler HX1. Source: Volvo CE. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Driverless load carrier lines up prizes

Published: 14 February 2017

The battery-powered driverless hauler HX1, developed by students at Luleå University of Technology together with Volvo Construction Equipment, wins national and international prizes.

– The load carrier’s combination of electric propulsion and autonomous operation gives us a glimpse of what future transportation systems and construction sites will look like, says Karl Schultz in a press release from Volvo CE. He is chairman of the Swedish Examination Board of the Quality Innovation Award.

Innovation with extreme potential

The Quality Innovation of the Year Award, the International Quality Innovation Award and the Innovation of Innovations Award. Those are the prizes that Volvo's driverless load carrier HX1 recently won. The load carrier design is based on a concept developed by engineering students at Luleå University of Technology in the project course SIRIUS. The first award, the Quality Innovation of the Year Award, awarded by SIQ – the Swedish Institute for Quality, qualified the Volvo load carrier for the international final. A competition that they subsequently won.

The Quality Innovation Award is prestigious international competition that recognizes innovations that are revolutionary and practical. The category of Potential Innovations, which the load carrier with LTU-roots won, is about innovations that have not yet been commercialized but has great potential and is believed to be able to change an entire industry.

Major environmental benefits

Volvo estimates that the driverless hauler should be able to reduce carbon emissions by up to 95% and reduce cost of ownership by 25%. It aims to electrify a transport step in mining or quarrying, from excavation to primary crushing and transport to secondary crushing. This is also done autonomously when the hauler can run by itself. The load carrier can be linked with several other machines to form a train.

– It's really great that a SIRIUS-project carried out in collaboration with industry achieves so much success. However, I am not surprised, we have seen many successful innovations in the course through the years, and several have been subject of patent application. Year after year the students succeed to impress us, and it is a proof that our Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering holds a high standard, says Magnus Karlberg, Associate Professor of Computer Aided Design and responsible for the project course SIRIUS at Luleå University of Technology.

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