Volvo to display innovations at 15th World Congress on ITS

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Innovative intelligent transportation systems (ITS) from Volvo Group will be showcased by Volvo under the theme of “Connected Truck” during the 15th World Congress on ITS in New York, set for Nov. 16-20 (www.itsworldcongress.org).

Volvo says some of the ITS technologies to be displayed already are in production on its trucks and buses in different markets, including Europe and North America, while others currently are in testing and development. According to the company, the technologies focus on enhanced communications, environmental and fuel efficiency improvements, and a broad spectrum of safety innovations:

  • Trusted Truck: On display will be a Volvo VT 880 highway tractor as part of the Trusted Truck partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Research Center and Volvo Technology Corp. Trusted Truck is outfitted with onboard systems to monitor and relay important vehicle safety information such as brake condition and other critical performance factors from the vehicle to roadside or mobile monitors. This demonstration technology allows trucks deemed safe and “trusted” to bypass inspection stations so inspectors can focus on trucks that might be unsafe.
  • The Volvo VT 880 also is equipped with Volvo Link, an integrated onboard communications system that is standard equipment on all Volvo trucks sold in North America. The system allows drivers and fleet managers to communicate, and the operational condition of the truck to be remotely monitored and assessed.

  • Integrated Safety Truck: Volvo also will present information about the Integrated Safety Truck (IST), a Volvo FH tractor featuring active safety and driver alert technologies to help avoid accidents. The Volvo IST tests and evaluates active safety systems and human-machine interface solutions, including active steering for lane keeping and lane change support; driver warnings through steering wheel vibration; detection of obstacles immediately in front of truck at startup and prevention of truck movement; blind spot and near obstacle detection systems; and driver warning for excessive speed in approaching curves.
  • Driver Alert Support: Limited driver awareness is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. Volvo’s Driver Alert Support (DAS) will improve safe driving by reducing the risk of accidents due to driver fatigue or inattention. The system monitors and analyses the driver’s lane keeping behavior, through the position of the truck with reference to the lane and road edges. If DAS detects degraded driving behavior, it provides an audible warning, as well as a visible warning in the driver information display. The first level of warning is an alert to focus on driving, while the second level is a suggestion to take a break. When the alarms are activated, the truck’s radio and CD player are muted automatically.
  • Alcolock: Volvo Trucks’ Alcolock is a fully integrated vehicle interlock device to prevent truck operation by alcohol-impaired drivers. About one-third of the roughly 40,000 annual European Union traffic-related deaths can be attributed directly to alcohol. Currently available in Europe, this optional feature requires the driver to take a breath test before the engine can be started. The driver first must exhale through a mouthpiece on the handheld unit for five seconds. If the driver is within the legal limit, “Start Motor” appears in the Alcolock display. If the driver has a reading above the limit, “Lock Out” is displayed and the engine can’t be started. Volvo Trucks was the first truck manufacturer to offer factory-installed Alcolock.
  • Dynafleet: Dynafleet from Volvo Trucks is a transport information system now available in Europe and Australia, providing the real-time location of all vehicles in a fleet, as well as each vehicle’s fuel consumption, sent messages, driver duty times, service intervals and more. Dynafleet, which is being introduced in additional markets, now also is available with Security Service: In the event of an emergency situation, the driver can contact a special center via an alarm button in the truck or via mobile phone. The emergency center constantly monitors the truck’s location and can notify police immediately.
  • Fuelwatch: Fuelwatch is Volvo Trucks’ comprehensive approach to squeeze every possible mile out of each drop of fuel, encompassing vehicle spec’ing, maintenance, performance monitoring and driver behavior. Central to obtaining optimal driver behavior is the analysis of logged vehicle data, which is extremely detailed information on vehicle performance and operation downloaded from the engine’s electronic control unit. This analysis then can be used to coach and train drivers in maximum fuel economy driving techniques.
  • Sustainable Logistics: Volvo Logistics, the Volvo Group’s logistics provider, is committed to delivering and developing services which reduce cost and environmental impact for customers. Continued development and use of advanced ITS technologies will increase transport productivity for increased fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Government/industry partnerships and programs: Volvo Group actively is participating in a number of partnerships and programs in Europe and North America through Volvo Technology and Volvo Trucks. These efforts are intended to test, develop and bring to market advanced ITS infrastructures and technologies. Several of these projects will be presented at the ITS World Congress.
  • In addition, Volvo Group is a main sponsor of the 16th World Congress on ITS, to be held September 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden.

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