In advance of the federal ban – effective Jan. 1, 2012 – on commercial drivers’ use of handheld mobile devices while driving, Volvo Trucks North America now will offer its Bluetooth-equipped radio as standard equipment on all VN and VHD models. “Mobile devices are valuable business tools for professional drivers, but we also recognize the need to operate these devices responsibly,” says Ron Huibers, Volvo Trucks senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Like the Volvo I-Shift transmission, in-cab Bluetooth connectivity allows drivers to keep both hands on the wheel.”
Volvo’s standard Bluetooth radio package includes a radio unit, a highly sensitive microphone mounted in the overhead console and full audio delivered through the truck’s speaker system. The integrated design allows drivers to view pertinent incoming and outgoing call information on the vehicle’s Driver Information Display. In addition to the Bluetooth mobile phone system, the radio features AM, FM, CD and MP3 capabilities, accessible through an auxiliary and USB connector installed in a dash switch location.
“While the Bluetooth system utilizes the highly visible Driver Information Display, our unique integrated system prioritizes critical driver messages, like active safety alerts or vehicle operational warnings,” says Frank Bio, Volvo Trucks product manager – trucks. “The information hierarchy we’ve developed and integrated into our trucks means phone calls will not impede drivers from receiving the vital information they need about their vehicle or driving conditions. The system extends the phone’s features, such as answering the phone by pushing one button, as required in the regulation.”