Volvo Active Safety Package tackles road crash impact
Volvo Trucks South Africa has made an investment of R6.5 million into its Durban SKD (semi-knocked down) manufacturing plant to install and calibrate selected safety features that form part of the Volvo Active Safety Package.
“We believe all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in our industry have a responsibility to provide the safest transport solutions, as this has a trickle-down effect on all road users,” explains Torbjörn Christensson, president of Volvo Group Southern Africa.
The impact a truck has when involved in a collision is often very serious. Volvo Trucks is, therefore, increasing the safety of its vehicles in a bid to decrease the impact on all road users in the event of collisions, including those involving pedestrians.
Certain features of the Volvo Active Safety Package will be available as optional extras on most* Volvo Truck range models fitted with the Electronic Brake System (EBS)*, Electronic Stability Control and Disc Brakes.
The Volvo Active Safety Package consists of, among others, adaptive cruise control with forward and emergency braking, which automatically adapts the vehicle’s speed to the traffic, informing the driver when the distance to the vehicle in front poses a risk.
The radar, fitted to the front of the truck, interacts with the company’s I-Shift transmission and the truck’s brakes. If the distance remains unsafe, the wheel brakes activate.
Emergency braking includes an initial warning system, which consists of a red light on the windscreen that is activated when the system detects a vehicle the truck will collide with unless speed is reduced.
Should the driver fail to react, the warning signal is upgraded to a flashing red light and beeping sound. If this is ignored, the system mildly applies the braking system of the truck.
In the event of this also failing, the emergency braking system activates to ensure the truck is prevented from colliding with the vehicle ahead.
Lane keeping support reduces certain risk factors in traffic such as fatigue or distraction.
The system has been designed for long haul operators and monitors the truck’s position on the road when exceeding speeds of 60km/h. If the driver unintentionally crosses a road marking, the system alerts the driver by sounding a buzzer.
Lane changing support uses a radar to help the driver further in terms of blind spots – which are slightly more challenging for truck drivers – on the passenger side. The turn signal activates this safety system.
Driver Alert Support alerts the driver using a camera sensor that tracks the position of the truck in its respective lane while monitoring steering wheel movements. Symptoms of fatigue result in audio-visual alerts being activated.
Alcolock** is a factory mounted electronic breath alcohol analyser, designed with the aim of reducing alcohol related accidents.
It requires the driver to take a breathalyser test before the engine of the truck can be started. It comprises a stationary unit inside the instrument panel of the truck and a hand-held unit with a cable.
“This is a ground-breaking way of increasing road safety and is a feature all OEMs should consider offering,” concluded Christensson.
*Emergency braking is only available on the Volvo FH model range.
**Alcolock is not available as part of the Active Safety Package, however, it is available as an optional extra.