Volvo Trucks Wants its Vehicles to Think Like Humans

June 21, 2019 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Whether they are driving, cycling or walking, humans have a habit of acting randomly and that’s a traffic problem.

Volvo Trucks North America is working with automated vehicle software provider Perceptive Automata to develop truck-based artificial intelligence to read the intentions of other road users.

The Perceptive Automata AI software system uses sensors to read visual cues. It looks for eye contact, posture, physical orientation and head movements to figure out what the human is going to do next.


Predicting what others will do is among the most challenging problems for autonomous vehicles like self-driving trucks, Volvo said.

The intent is to warn truck drivers and launch automated systems in the vehicle to avoid collisions and improve safety.

“Advanced automation in trucking is an important application of our human behavior prediction technology,” said Sid Misra, chief executive of Perceptive Automata.


Volvo recently conducted a proof-of-concept test with Dependable Highway Express in Ontario, Calif. Volvo used its VNR 300 regional-haul truck as the test vehicle.

The system conducted continuous 360-degree monitoring of human road users near the truck. It alerted the truck driver and on-board automated systems of risks based on changes in human intention.

That allows the driver and the truck’s automated safety systems to take action to reduce the likelihood of collision. It also improves safety by automatically modulating the amount and severity of braking and acceleration.

“We continue to explore new and innovative ways to further enhance transportation safety,” said Aravind Kailas, Volvo’s research manager. “We are very proud of the collaboration with Perceptive Automata and DHE, who share our vision for increasing safety.”

DHE provided real-world data from its fleet operations to enable the customization of the software.

“We are excited to play a part in the research and development of this automation technology and the positive impact it can have in keeping everyone safer on the roads of the world,” said Joe Finney, chief operating officer at DHE.

Alan Adler April 25, 2019
Swedish truck maker Volvo has adopted a holistic approach to electrification, autonomous and connected-vehicle technologies to burnish its sustainability credentials.

One Response

  1. Jeromy

    The last thing we need is for machines to think like humans when operating on the roads. Most drivers have no business being behind the wheel.


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