Safety is in the DNA of every Volvo Truck that is produced and this is not just lip-service. “Volvo Trucks prides itself with regard to safety and this has always been one of our core values,” says Torbjörn Christensson, president of Volvo Group Southern Africa. Proof of this is the fact that in every vehicle on the road a part of Volvo safety remains – the three point safety belt. Emphasizing its continued commitment to safety, Volvo Trucks South Africa has made an investment of R6.5 million into its Durban SKD Manufacturing plant which will allow the facility to install and calibrate selected unique features that were previously not available to the market.
“We believe that all original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in our industry have a responsibility to provide the safest transport solutions to their customers – as this has a trickle-down effect to all road users,” adds Torbjörn. The impact that a truck has when involved in a collision is often very serious and to this end Volvo Trucks is constantly increasing the safety of its vehicles in a bid to decrease the overall impact to all road users in the event of a collision. This includes pedestrians and to this end, we hope that our holistic approach to safety through not only our products but also our “Stop, look, wave” campaign which is a programme designed by Volvo Trucks to teach children around the world about the dangers they face in traffic everyday, for more information about ‘Stop, Look, Wave,” visit http://www.volvotrucks.co.za/en-za/about/safety/stop-look-wave.html . The aim of this programme is to change and shape behaviours in road users from a young age.
The features that form part of The Volvo Active Safety Package which has recently become available to the local market will be available as optional extras on most* Volvo Truck range models fitted with Electronic Brake System (EBS)*, Electronic Stability Control and Disc Brakes.
The Volvo Active Safety package consists of:
Adaptive cruise control with forward and emergency braking
The adaptive cruise control automatically adapts the vehicle’s speed to the actual flow of traffic and informs the driver when the distance to the vehicle in front represents a risk. The radar which is fitted to the front of the truck interacts with the I-Shift and the vehicle’s breaks. If the distance remains unsafe the wheel brakes activate. Adaptive cruise control and the emergency advanced braking system make use of radar and camera technology that work simultaneously to identify and monitor the vehicles on the path of the truck. Emergency braking allows for a first warning system, which consists of a red light on the windscreen that is activated when the system detects a vehicle that the truck will collide with at its current speed. Should the driver not react the warning signal is upgraded to a flashing red light and beeping, if this is ignored then the system mildly applies the braking system of the truck. In the event of this also failing the emergency braking system activates in order to ensure that the truck is prevented from colliding with the vehicle.
Lane keeping support
Lane keeping support drastically reduces risk factors in traffic such as tiredness or distraction, the system has been designed for long haul operators and monitors the trucks position on the road when exceeding speeds of 60 km/h. If the driver unintentionally crosses a road marking system it alerts the driver through the means of a buzzer.
Lane Changing Support
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 of the respective vehicle. The turn signal activates the safety system.
Driver Alert Support
The support system alerts the driver through the use of a camera sensor that tracks the position of the truck in its respective lane as well as monitors the steering wheel movements of the truck; this would happen if the driver is inattentive or drowsy. Additionally is any symptoms of fatigue or tiredness are detected the audio-visual alert is activated too.
The 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 before the engine of the truck can be started, it is made of a stationary unit inside the instrument panel of the truck and a hand-held unit with a cable.
“The Volvo Active Safety Package is making the world’s safest Volvo Truck even safer. This is a ground breaking way of increasing road safety even more and is a feature all OEMs should consider as being part of responsible citizens,” concluded Torbjörn.
*Emergency braking is only available on the FH model range
*Alcolock is not available as part of the Active Safety Package, however, is available as an optional extra