DUBLIN, VA. With a focus on reducing costly accidents, Volvo Trucks has made Volvo Active Driver Assist, which includes Bendix Wingman Fusion, standard equipment on the new Volvo VNR and VNL series.
The comprehensive, camera- and radar-based collision mitigation system is fully integrated with Volvo’s Driver Information Display. Volvo is the first heavy-duty truck OEM to offer Bendix Wingman Fusion as standard equipment, according to the company.
Making such safety systems standard is part of the company’s “Zero Accidents” initiative, explained Marketing Manager Rob Simpson in a presentation at the new Volvo Trucks Customer Center here. Indeed, 93% of accidents are caused by human error—and technology can greatly reduce that margin.
Technology such as Volvo Active Driver Assist reduces the risk of front end collisions by 80%, Simpson noted, and then did some math: With the average cost of commercial vehicle crash coming in at $110,000, and with trucks registering 2.2 crashes per million miles, the average cost of accidents for a highway truck is about $24,000 per year. With about one in three truck crashes being front-end collisions, that’s $7,500, reduced by 80% comes to $6,000 per year in savings. The cost to make Volvo Active Driver Assist standard means an ROI of just four months.
“This is a four-month return, then it just keeps paying for itself thereafter,” Simpson said. “We think this is an incredibly valuable tool for our customers. That’s the practical side, the economics. But our focus is about saving lives—not just drivers, but everybody else on the road. We will not stop until we’ve achieved that vision of zero accidents.”
Volvo Active Driver Assist combines camera and radar sensors to detect metallic objects and vehicles that are stationary or vehicles braking in front of a truck. If a metallic object of size is detected, audible and visual warnings are made to alert the driver, including red warning light flashes reflected on the windshield. Warnings are displayed up to 3 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 will automatically alert the driver and engage the brakes to help the driver mitigate the potential collision. Braking assist is available at speeds greater than 15 mph
Additionally, Volvo Active Driver Assist works with cruise control to help the driver maintain a set following distance behind the forward vehicle. If the forward vehicle slows down, Volvo Active Driver Assist will alert the driver and, if necessary, reduce throttle to the engine, apply the engine brake, downshift the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission and apply the foundation brakes and brake lights to help the driver maintain the set following distance gap based on the speed of the two vehicles.
Thanks to the camera input, Volvo Active Driver Assist also integrates a Lane Departure Warning System with Data Capture capability. This system alerts drivers when an unintentional lane change (one in which the turn signal is not activated) occurs and can be turned off by the driver for 15 minutes when traveling through construction zones or other areas where lane markings may be unclear or confusing. The system reactivates automatically after 15 minutes, though the driver has the option to reactivate it manually. Lane departure warnings do not occur if the turn signal is activated or brakes are applied.
“Combining the wider angle of the camera with the radar sensor allows to better detect objects that could be a danger to the driver,” said Ashraf Makki, Volvo product marketing manager – technology. “Together, by providing the most data about what is in front of the truck, the system helps mitigate the potential for collisions or unintentional lane changes.”
Volvo Active Driver Assist with Bendix Wingman Fusion is fully integrated with Volvo’s Driver Information Display and requires no additional displays or hardware kits. Its complete integration enables drivers to more quickly react to warnings. The system is also integrated with Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) to help drivers avoid rollover and loss-of-control situations on dry, wet, snow- and ice-covered roadways. Volvo was the first commercial vehicle OEM to make full stability standard on its highway tractors.
The system relies on data from a front bumper-mounted radar sensor and a windshield-mounted camera and offers a series of visual and audible alerts depending on the forward distance of the front object. Cruise control does not have to be engaged for the Volvo Active Driver Assist system to work.
With a detection range of 22 degrees wide and 500 feet in front of the truck, the radar systems can detect the angle, speed and distance of an object ahead. A camera with a viewing angle greater than 42 degrees complements the radar and can determine the size and lane position, as well as other characteristics of an object, according to Volvo.