Excitement was in the air at Volvo Construction Equipment’s (Volvo CE) Xploration Forum, where hundreds of customers, members of the international press, government representatives and academics were given an exclusive look at a host of ground-breaking technology that has the potential to transform the industry. Highlights at the event, which was held between September 9-14, included: unveiling the LX1 prototype hybrid wheel loader – a machine with the potential to improve fuel efficiency by up to 50%, demonstrations of a prototype autonomous wheel loader and articulated hauler working together, and an electric site solution that showcased the new concept HX1 autonomous, battery-electric, load carrier. The electric site project aims to transform the quarry and aggregates industry by reducing carbon emissions by up to 95% and total cost of ownership by up to 25%. All of the innovations shown at the Xploration Forum are ongoing research projects that aren’t commercially available at this stage.
Innovating for a sustainable future
“In line with the Volvo Group’s vision to be the most desired and successful transport solution provider in the world, Volvo CE is committed to contributing to sustainable development,” commented Martin Weissburg, Member of the Volvo Group Executive Board and President of Volvo CE, at the international press conference held during the Xploration Forum. “At Volvo CE we are developing technologies connected to electromobility, intelligent machines and total site solutions that will benefit our customers and the environment by contributing to increased machine performance, productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability. Our future products and services will play an important part in building a sustainable society.
“Volvo CE is at the forefront of technological development,” he continued. “Each year, the Volvo Group invests billions of Swedish Kronor in research and development to drive the evolution of new innovations. We organize events such as the Xploration Forum because we want to share our exciting projects and concepts with the world. Although this technology may be years away from – or may never enter – production, it will undoubtedly influence our future offering and has the potential to transform the construction industry as we know it. The progress our engineers are making is exciting.”
Technology challenge: Triple Zero, 10x
The Xploration Forum, which builds on the Innovation Forum Volvo CE held in 2013, was designed to underscore the company’s position as the innovation pioneer of the construction equipment industry. “We’ve set ourselves four key technology challenges that we call Triple Zero and 10x: zero emissions, zero accidents, zero unplanned stops and 10x higher efficiency,” explained Weissburg. “We believe that our clear focus on electromobility, intelligent machines and total site solutions will help us achieve these ambitious goals and pave the way for a sustainable construction industry.”
Zero emissions: Zero emission machines will help make customers’ businesses more environmentally sustainable.
Zero accidents: With pioneering safety innovations, machines could instinctively avoid accidents – generating a completely safe working environment.
Zero unplanned stops: A world without machine breakdowns, where machines predict and plan their own maintenance – making unplanned stops a thing of the past.
10x higher efficiency: The electrification of construction equipment and site optimization will dramatically reduce energy consumption.
Volvo Concept Lab
The innovations shown at the Xploration Forum were presented under the umbrella of ‘Volvo Concept Lab’ – a new Volvo Group initiative. From now on, Volvo-branded companies within the Volvo Group will showcase their research and development projects under this technology communication platform. “At the Volvo Group we want to show our customers, journalists, government representatives and members of the public the exciting projects we’re working on,” said Weissburg. “Volvo Concept Lab will showcase ideas, innovations and collaborations that could potentially lead to future products and solutions – exactly like those Volvo CE presented at the Xploration Forum.”