Volvo Trucks' automation work focuses on safety and importance of professional drivers
Volvo Trucks has globally released films "Automation – the Big Change" and "Automation – Driving into the Future" that explore future truck technology. The company says that the two-part film shows the vision and purpose behind the ongoing global automation work by Volvo Trucks, as well as the hopes and concerns of those whose daily lives it will impact.
"Automation will improve productivity and safety," said Sasko Cuklev, Volvo Trucks' Global Director of Autonomous Solutions. "It will allow us to optimize traffic management and route planning, and reduce equipment wear. Automation will help us develop more energy-efficient solutions, and with solutions like platooning we will be able to decrease fuel consumption."
While a shift toward using fully automated vehicles forms part of the development, Volvo Trucks said it remains focused on a stepwise approach to implementing advanced driver assistance systems to enhance the driver profession and help further increase safety, productivity, and convenience.
"Automation is not about eliminating jobs," said Ann-Sofi Karlsson, Volvo Trucks' Global Director of Human Factors for Automation. "Skilled professional drivers will still be in high demand. As trade and the world population continues to grow, so does the transport of goods. Automation is about making it more efficient."
Volvo said it is already using automation through advanced driver assistance systems to help professional drivers in North America. Volvo Active Driver Assist, a camera- and radar-based collision mitigation system, is standard equipment on the new Volvo VNR series for regional haul and Volvo VNL series for long haul. If a metallic object of size is detected, audible and visual warnings are made to alert the driver, including a red heads-up warning light reflected on the windshield. Warnings are displayed up to 3.0 seconds before an imminent impact with the stationary object. If the system recognizes the stationary object as a vehicle and the driver does not take action, Volvo Active Driver Assist is designed to automatically alert the driver and engage the brakes to help the driver mitigate the risk of collision. With its camera input, Volvo Active Driver Assist also integrates a Lane Departure Warning System that alerts drivers when an unintentional lane change (one in which the turn signal is not activated) occurs.
By involving the customer in ongoing dialogue and research about such developments, Volvo Trucks aims to stay focused on human-centric issues. Work with vehicle automation will continue to benefit motor carriers, professional truck drivers, and society as a whole.