Volvo Trucks South Africa recently introduced its Active Safety Package to the local market and has followed this up with the announcement of a R6,5-million investment into its Durban SKD manufacturing plant which will allow the facility to calibrate and fit selected features that were previously not available to the market.
The features include adaptive cruise control with forward and emergency braking, lane keeping support, lane changing support, driver alert support and alcolock.
“Safety and this has always been one of Volvo Trucks’ core values and we believe all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) 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,” says Torbjörn Christensson, president of Volvo Group Southern Africa.
The features that form part of The Volvo Active Safety Package 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 brakes. If the distance remains unsafe, the service 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 then 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. Emergency braking is only available on the FH model range
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 truck’s position on the road when exceeding speeds of 60 km/h. If the driver unintentionally crosses a road marking, the system alerts the driver through a buzzer.
Lane Changing Support
Lane changing support uses a radar to help the driver 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, if any symptoms of fatigue or tiredness are detected, the audio-visual alert is also activated.
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 comprises a stationary unit inside the instrument panel of the truck and a hand-held unit with a cable. Alcolock is not available as part of the Active Safety Package. However, it is available as an optional extra.