Those who stay in touch with overseas developments will be aware of the rapid move towards autonomous trucks and cars where the vehicle drives itself while the driver chills out. A lot of development has also taken place in the arena of truck platooning which allows a sort of train of trucks to follow each other, each one connected.
Now we hear that Volvo Trucks is introducing a cloud-based service, Connected Safety, which allows Volvo trucks and Volvo cars to automatically alert each other to hazardous traffic situations. Thanks to pioneering collaboration, two independent vehicle manufacturers are allowing their cars and trucks to share real-time traffic hazard information.
The passenger-car version of Connected Safety was launched by Volvo Cars in 2016. With Volvo Trucks now rolling out its version of the service, trucks and cars can alert each other of potential hazards. This is possible because the two companies share safety-related data between their respective clouds.
“Expanded cooperation between different players is one of the most important keys to improved road safety. If more vehicles can exchange real-time information about the traffic situation, it will lower the risk of accidents. With Connected Safety, we are opening the door to the future, with the hope that more vehicle manufacturers will join in,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks.
Connected Safety was developed to send out alerts to nearby vehicles connected to the service whenever a driver activates the vehicle’s hazard warning lights.
“A vehicle standing still by the roadside in poor visibility risks being hit from the rear, which can have severe consequences. An alert issued well in advance gives all drivers of nearby cars and trucks the same opportunity to reduce speed, adjust their driving to the traffic situation and avoid a collision,” explains Carl Johan Almqvist.
In the longer term, the cloud-based service can be expanded with additional safety-enhancing functions.
“As the technology undergoes further enhancements and more vehicles are linked to the system, real-time information will become an important complement to the various intelligent safety and driver support systems found in our trucks today. Connected Safety marks the start of a new phase in our on-going drive to promote safe driving and prevent accidents,” says Emanuele Piga, Director Customer Solutions & New Services Development at Volvo Trucks
Volvo Trucks will initially introduce Connected Safety on new trucks in Sweden and Norway, where both Volvo Trucks and Volvo Cars account for a considerable proportion of annual new-vehicle registrations.
Here’s how Connected Safety works: When the hazard warning lights are switched on, the truck sends a signal via the driver’s Internet-connected mobile phone to Volvo Trucks’ cloud service. From there, the information is forwarded to the corresponding service at Volvo Cars. An alert is then transmitted to all connected cars and trucks approaching the location of the vehicle whose hazard lights have been activated.
The system will be available in Sweden and Norway during 2018. Connected Safety is applicable to the Volvo FH16, Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX equipped with Volvo Trucks’ integrated system for services and infotainment, depending on the truck’s specification and choice of services.
Volvo Cars offers Connected Safety with all new Volvo XC60, Volvo XC90, Volvo XC40, Volvo S90, Volvo V60 and Volvo V90 models.
Additional accident-prevention safety systems for Volvo trucks include: Adaptive Cruise Control: active cruise control that helps the driver maintain a pre-set time gap to the vehicle in front. Collision warning with Emergency Brake: designed to alert the driver to the risk of a collision with the vehicle in front and to activate the brakes if necessary. Driver Alert Support: alerts the driver to stop for a break if the system identifies signs of inattentiveness.