Volvo Trucks Integrates Active Safety Systems
April 17, 2007
Recent figures concerning traffic safety in the continent of Europe shows a reduction of fatalities caused by traffic accidents. The number of deaths has been reduced by as much as 20 percent starting from 2001 up until this year. This shows an increased benefit of safety systems used on vehicles running on the Europe’s roads.
The European Union though aims to continue that trend by reducing the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents by the half by the year 2010. Already, automakers are jumping on the bandwagon of developing safety systems that will help them reach that goal.
One of the foremost automakers that come to mind when safety is concerned is Volvo. The Swedish manufacturer of trucks has already taken steps to participate in the battle against traffic accidents.
Volvo Trucks, the second largest manufacturer of trucks and buses, recently introduced two active safety systems that will be integrated into their production trucks. These two systems are the Lane Keeping Support (LKS) and the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Both of these are developed by Volvo’s safety experts.
The Lane Keeping Support is essentially a system that warns the driver of the vehicle if he or she is leaving his or her lane. The technology constantly monitors lane markers and warns the driver with an audible signal when the vehicle is leaving the lane. The safety system is activated when the vehicle reaches speeds of 60 kilometers per hour.
This technology is recommended for large vehicles like Volvo’s trucks since their sheer size makes them hard to steer especially during high speed driving. Claes Avedal, the head of the accident research for Volvo Trucks, expound the seriousness of the threat of a truck without a Lane Keeping Support system. “The driver loses his concentration for a moment and that is when the risk is greatest of also losing control over the vehicle,” says Avedal.
On the other hand, the Adaptive Cruise Control is an improved version of the previous ACC employed by Volvo’s vehicles which may or may not be equipped with a Volvo antenna. Well, not that it matters of course. The Adaptive Cruise Control is a safety system which uses radar or laser, (Volvo uses a radar-based ACC) to calculate the proximity of the vehicle to the vehicle in front of it. When the distance reaches a preset constant, the system will slow down the vehicle to a preset speed.
Volvo’s improved ACC features a greater braking force to give the driver maximum stopping power in cases of emergency.
Volvo maintained that their efforts are geared towards better traffic safety. “The fast pace of technological development these past few years has created entirely new opportunities when it comes to accident-preventive safety. One good example is the implementation of the active stability-enhancing program, ESP, one of the most important advances in this area. With our new systems, we are taking yet another step in the right direction,” Claes Avedal said.
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