Volvo Trucks: New System To Protect Car Drivers And Cyclists
Non-Hit Car and Truck Research Project
Potentially life-saving radar technology is being developed to alert truck drivers that a pedestrian or cyclist is within the vehicle’s “blind spot”.
A system being developed for Volvo Trucks as part of the manufacturer’s “Non-Hit Car and Truck” Research Project uses surveillance cameras, radar and other sensors on each side of the vehicle to monitor areas not visible from the cab.
According to the European Cyclists’ Federation, collisions resulting from a cyclist entering a truck’s blind spot are rare but are likely to result in serious injury. Cyclists and pedestrians caught in the path of a trucks turning left on UK roads are particularly vulnerable.
Volvo’s system can scan a truck’s entire surroundings every 25 milliseconds, with data then interpreted and any risk analysed. It distinguishes between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians and predicts directions of travel up to five seconds ahead. It can warn the driver via a flashing light and beeping tone if the truck is likely to cut across the path of a bicycle of pedestrian. If the driver continues on the collision course, the system takes control of the brakes and steering to prevent an impact.
Carl Johan Almqvist, Volvo Trucks’ Traffic and Product Safety Director, said: “Our vision for traffic safety is to have no accidents involving Volvo trucks.
“This unique technology has taken us yet another step towards our vision and will hopefully save many lives in the future.”
Volvo Trucks: New System Ready In Five To Ten Years
The system is likely to be production ready within five to ten years, even though cars already benefit from similar concepts. The delay is to allow the manufacturer to resolve issues relating to larger vehicles. Mansour Keshavarz, Systems Engineer at Volvo Trucks, said: “Trucks are a different type of vehicle and do not act the same way as cars in traffic. “For example, every truck is loaded differently and their sheer size prevents them from carrying out severe avoidance manoeuvres, such as swerving quickly to avoid a collision.
“So it is important to research and develop technology specifically for trucks. “We have the main components in place, but we need to do a lot more testing in order to make sure that the system is fault-free. If we manage to solve these challenges, a future without truck accidents is within reach.”