Volvo is well-known for its obsession with safety technology. As all of you know by now, Volvo is also making heavy duty trucks. So it comes as no surprise that Volvo Trucks are also equipped with some impressive safety tech, as demonstrated in this new video. Large trucks have to be able to break automatically, but Volvo raises standards to a whole new level.
There is an EU-wide regulation, which is pushing truck manufacturers to use automatic emergency breaking system in the bigger trucks. And with today’s technology it is really not that difficult to do, especially having in mind that most truck manufacturers are either owned by automotive companies or a closely related to them. Cars have these systems for quite some time now, but for trucks automatic emergency breaking is even more beneficial. Heavier vehicles are very hard to stop suddenly, especially when other road users are making unexpected mistakes or are just driving irresponsibly.
Interestingly, this legislation only requires truck to automatically reduce their speed by 10 km/h (it will be increased to 20 km/h next year), which is not nearly enough to avoid an accident if a truck is going at around highway speeds. Volvo’s system, which was introduced in 2012, goes well beyond legal requirements and is future-proof too.
It is mostly focused at alerting the driver – usually it is enough. System uses radar and camera technology, which work flawlessly regardless of driving conditions. If the truck thinks there is a high risk of collision, a heads-up display and acoustic signal with notify the driver. If the driver does not react, truck starts breaking – at first gently and then comes to a complete stop if driver continues to do nothing. If the driver does not do anything after the truck is stopped, parking break is applied automatically. It all happens very quickly and smoothly and thus the system is safe, comfortable and ensures that most accidents could be avoided.
When parking break is applied automatically, hazard lights start flashing to warn other drivers. And, of course, it works hand in hand with ABS and other systems, to make sure the truck is safely brought to a stop even if the driver cannot do much because of shock or other circumstances.
Volvo’s system also functions on curvy roads and can differentiate between roadside guard rails and genuine obstacles such as vehicles including motorbikes. It is unlikely that EU legislation will catch up with Volvo’s innovation here any time soon, but this company really likes leading when it comes to safety tech. Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks, said: “A safe traffic environment requires active interaction between all road users. An experienced, attentive driver who handles his or her vehicle responsibly is still the best form of accident prevention”.
And that is the bottom line of it. Drivers are still key in accident prevention. But it does not mean that truck manufacturers should not put as much effort into developing technology that will make roads just that little bit safer.
Source: Volvo Trucks