Volvo Construction Equipment has won the Swedish Institute for Quality’s Quality Innovation of the Year Award with its HX1 prototype autonomous, battery-electric, load carrier. The product won in the Potential Innovations category. Volvo CE’s vision of a futuristic machine is one element of a present-day electric site research project that is predicted to cut carbon emissions by up to 95 percent and lower total cost of ownership costs by a quarter.

The concept HX1 represents a new approach to a sustainable future concept, one based on electro-mobility and autonomous vehicles. Rather than having a few large, versatile machines, as is common on construction and mining sites today, the HX1 demonstrates the emergence of smaller and more numerous specialist machines. This “elephant to ants” concept is a new way of meeting customer needs, combining intelligent machines, automation and electromobility.

“The HX1 forms part of Volvo CE’s long-term ambition of achieving sustainable transportation solutions,” said Patrik Lundblad, senior vice president of Volvo CE’s Technology function. “This award is a tribute to the hard work and vision of Volvo CE’s employees, who continue to push the boundaries of technology and innovation. This is a welcome recognition that demonstrates Volvo CE’s position at the forefront of technological development.”

Since 2011, the Quality Innovation Awards in Sweden has recognized organizations that present not just innovative solutions, but those that have been created using a systematic approach to meet clearly identified customer needs. Part of an international series of awards, the partners of SIQ’s Quality Innovation of the Year Award are innovation agency Vinnova and Deloitte Sweden.

The panel of five judges said: “The concept HX1 features a totally new and revolutionary approach to transportation systems, introducing a shift to smaller and autonomous electrified vehicles. The concept is groundbreaking in the industry and gives us a glimpse of how the future may look.”

“It is impressive to see how the winning innovations take historical processes and technologies and reinvents them to meet the needs of the future,” added Mats Deleryd, president of SIQ. “With these quality awards we strive to give the ‘how’ of innovative processes, business models and new ways of working as much attention as the ‘what’ of product and service innovations commonly gets.”