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Volvo Unveils Future Technology, Including Electric and Sentient Trucks

Matt Ball on June 20, 2012 - in Electric Grid, Featured, Transportation


Volvo has unveiled a new website to highlight the technology that their engineers are working on for the future of transportation and urban life. Among the advancement in the transportation sector are hybrid electric trucks, fully electric buses and construction machines, and urban trucks that can sense pedestrians.

Volvo’s active safety system for trucks helps safeguard cyclists and pedestrians in an urban environment.

It’s easy for pedestrians and cyclists to spot a truck, but the truck driver’s field of vision is far more restricted, and it’s usually hard to see objects or persons on the nearside, in the blind spot. To solve this problem Volvo developed a system with laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors that monitor the truck’s surroundings. When a cyclist or pedestrian gets too close, the truck driver is alerted. At first the system uses a flashing light and an audible but gentle information signal. If the driver still doesn’t stop, the warnings become increasingly insistent.

How the system works:

  • Laser scanners and ultrasound sensors are positioned at the front and on the nearside of the truck to cover the areas that the driver cannot see, in other words the traditional blind spots.
  • A monitor display provides a birds-eye view of what the truck looks like from above.
  • A camera fitted just inside the windscreen monitors what the road junction looks like (the number of lanes, positioning of stop lines etc.).
  • A communication receiver fitted on the roof receives information directly from the traffic lights. For instance, it registers if someone has pressed the button at the pedestrian crossing and notes which traffic lights are showing red and green respectively.
  • All this data is processed and a situational assessment is performed continuously.
  • Based on the situational assessment, the truck driver is either alerted about the presence of a vulnerable road-user or warned of an imminent collision.
  • There are two solutions for informing/warning the driver: flashing lights or sound. The warning is more urgent in intensity than the information message.

Learn more about Volvo’s future technology http://techworld.volvogroup.com



Matt Ball

About Matt Ball

Matt Ball is founder and editorial director of V1 Media, publisher of Informed Infrastructure, Earth Imaging Journal, Sensors & Systems, Asian Surveying & Mapping and the video news site GeoSpatial Stream.

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