Excavators without drivers, virtual sheet painting and electric buses that charge in ten minutes. The Volvo Group is opening the door to the future, with its new Tech World website. For the first time, many of the research projects on which the company’s engineers are working will be openly displayed.
The Volvo Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy vehicles. Accordingly, the company is also one of the leaders in terms of developing sustainable transport solutions of the future. In 2011, the Volvo Group invested more than SEK 13 billion in research and development.
Research and development has always been the most secretive aspect of a company. This is natural, since it involves launching new solutions ahead of competitors. Nevertheless, the Volvo Group has decided to display some of the company’s work for the future on its new website www.volvogroup.com/techworld.
"Times are different now and being open about where we are heading is now beneficial for us, our customers and society," says Torbjörn Holmström, Chief Technology Officer of the Volvo Group. "However, we will naturally not disclose anything that will jeopardize our competitiveness."
A key aim of the website is to show existing and future engineers the width of the subject areas that are included within the Volvo Group.
"We know from experience that many young engineers don’t actually understand what it means to work with us, are unable to recognize the challenges and future prospects," says Torbjörn Holmström. "We want to change that."
"We hope to be able to show that Volvo’s engineers are world-leading in many areas and contribute highly to creating a future where the environmental impact is reduced and traffic safety is higher."
Tech World contains a large number of examples of future projects; automatic equipment, vehicle fuel from forest raw material, vehicles that communicate with each other, electricity production from surplus heat from engines, boat simulators and much more. The Volvo Group’s engineers will share their expertise, but will also present some of the challenges that remain to be solved.
In addition, the website also includes a couple of mathematical problems to be solved. They involve batteries, which is one of the foundation bolts to increase the electrification of vehicles.
"The problems are not very easy, but attempting to solve them will be fun for anyone who knows mathematics," says Torbjörn Holmström. "And, it will prove that there are high demands on those who want to work at the Volvo Group and contribute to shaping another future."