Safety is in the DNA of every Volvo truck that the company produces. Emphasising its continued commitment to safety, Volvo Trucks South Africa has made an investment of R6,5 million in its Durban SKD Manufacturing plant for the installation and calibration of selected unique safety features that were previously not available to the market.
“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.”
“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 a truck has when it is involved in a collision is often very serious, and in view of this 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 an accident – including pedestrians.
To teach children about road safety and to increase their awareness of the dangers they face in traffic every da, Volvo Trucks has created a programme called ‘Stop, Look, Wave’ to change and shape behaviour in road users from a young age. (For more information about ‘Stop, Look, Wave’, visit http://www.volvotrucks.co.za/enza/about/safety/stop-look-wave.html.) The features of the Volvo Active Safety Package which have recent-ly become available to the local market will be available as optional extras on most* Volvo Truck models fitted with Electonic Brake System (EBS)*, Electronic Stability Control and Disc Brakes.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward and Emergency Braking
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 brakes. 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 ed light and beeping. 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 in order to ensure that the truck is prevented from colliding with another 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 60km/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 cam-era sensor that tracks the position of the truck in its respective lane, as well as monitoring the steering wheel movements of the truck. This will happen if the driver is inattentive or drowsy. Additionally, if any symptoms of fatigue or tiredness are detected, the audio-visual alert is activated too.
The Alcolock* is a factory-installed 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 consists 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 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,” concludes Christensson.
* Emergency braking is only available on the FH model range.
* Alcolock is not part of the Active Safety Package, but is available as an optional extra.