The Volvo Group’s product development focuses on active and passive safety features. Active safety technology and features, such as vehicle stability and visibility support, aim to prevent accidents and crashes from occurring. Passive safety components, including airbags and body protection in the cab, aim to protect the occupants of a vehicle during a crash.
Human factors are a contributing factor in 90 percent of traffic accidents so finding ways to reduce these risks can have a significant impact. The Volvo Group is pioneering several solutions that assist the drivers of our vehicles.
We took part in the collaborative European ‘InteractIVe’ project that ended in November 2013. This four-year EU project involved 30 companies, organizations and research institutes and focused on continuous driver support, collision avoidance and collision mitigation.
The Volvo Group tested an emergency steering system with sensors including lasers, cameras and radars. The system could be deployed, for example, if the vehicle is about to leave the road or if something unexpected appeared in front of it. The vehicle would automatically steer away from the potential collision and was often used in combination with braking assistance.
A large number of tests using professional drivers were conducted. These proved that assisted systems can improve traffic safety. However, they also pointed to the need for further research on adapting the designs and support to the driver.
The Volvo Group is not only contributing to improved safety on the roads, we also aim for zero accidents in our products used for the actual construction of roads.
Zero accidents in road construction
Working in collaboration with our academic partner, Chalmers University, and research partner, Vinnova, in Sweden, Volvo Construction Equipment is leading a three-year project which will identify and test active safety systems to increase safety in roadside construction combined with increased productivity.
Having initially investigated accidents and safety conditions at roadside sites, the project team are now acting on their improved understanding of the risks attached to road works. They are currently evaluating appropriate active safety functionality to create a virtual electronic cage. This concept includes solutions to estimate machinery position, detect human and other objects, and raise warnings.
The systems will be integrated into machines in 2015 for proof-of-concept trials within a realistic construction environment, weather and operating conditions.
Making things easier for the boat driver and enhancing on-board safety and comfort are fundamental objectives for Volvo Penta and its new Interceptor System (IS) does just that.
IS-equipped boats have greatly improved visibility, with the bow of the boat remaining lower during a considerably shorter acceleration and planing phase, compared to boats with traditional trim systems. For side visibility, a boat without IS typically has a sight distance of about 30 meters and a visibility sector of about 300 m2. A boat with IS has a sight distance of about 300 meters and a sector of visibility of about 5,100 m2.
The new IS also enables all people on board to stand up safely without having to hold on to the interior, even when accelerating or taking sharp turns.