Volvo Trucks Touts Technologies to Improve Efficiency and Safety
Truck drivers and fleet managers know they need every advantage in today’s tough economic environment. Thanks to Volvo Trucks, they have access to innovative technologies to boost fuel economy, safety and driver productivity. Three Volvo systems were in the spotlight during a special customer event in Canada held September 9 – 10, 2010.
The Volvo Trucks Enhanced Technology Event in Canada demonstrated Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST), Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC) and I-Shift – technologies that have been shown to improve efficiency and safety. The event was held at the Waterloo Regional Emergency Services Training & Research Complex in Waterloo, Ontario.
“Volvo customers and guests were able to experience first-hand the impact these key technologies can have on truck performance, and their businesses as a whole” said Carol Girard, marketing manager for Volvo Trucks in Canada.
Representatives from Volvo Trucks showcased the three systems and offered a roll-over simulation experience as well as a Ride-and-Drive opportunity.
Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST)
VEST is one of the most important advancements in truck safety. As a standard feature on all Volvo trucks since 2005, VEST assists the driver in maintaining control during emergency maneuvers and braking events, dramatically reducing the likelihood of a rollover, jackknife or loss of control. VEST sensors quickly and accurately detect a dangerous driving situation and respond by automatically reducing engine torque, applying the engine brake and activating the necessary wheel-end brakes more rapidly than a driver can respond.
“By automatically compensating for miscalculations or changing road conditions, VEST helps keep the vehicle under control even on wet or snowy roads, black ice and exit ramps,” said Girard. “We believe it’s the kind of safety feature that no driver should be without.”
Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC)
With VEC, cruise control becomes a powerful safety feature. Implementing the latest in advanced collision avoidance technology, the system works with a truck’s cruise control to maintain a safe following distance between vehicles, even in adverse weather and visibility conditions. Using radar sensors, VEC monitors vehicles moving in front of and to the side of the Volvo truck. With the ability to detect up to 32 objects within 500 feet in front of the truck, VEC alerts the driver to potential danger and even automatically slows the truck to avoid a collision.
In simple terms, the Volvo I-Shift is 12-speed, two-pedal automated transmission that integrates seamlessly with all Volvo engines. But, with the deployment of intelligent electronics, I-Shift is actually a fuel-saving, productivity boosting, driver satisfaction- and safety-enhancing technology. Using microprocessors, Volvo I-Shift continuously monitors changes in grade, vehicle speed, acceleration, torque demand, weight and air resistance. With the engine and transmission in constant communication, I-Shift automatically selects the best gear for the engine.
“Volvo I-Shift is far superior to any other automated manual transmission on the market,” Girard said. “With the advantage of an intelligent transmission, drivers can shift like a fuel-efficiency expert, reducing costs and putting less stress on the driveline. When combined with Volvo’s new 2010 EPA engines, customers are seeing even more significant fuel savings.”
I-Shift improves safety by reducing driver fatigue. The driver can focus on the road, making turns, avoiding other traffic, and the like without worrying about being in the right gear on the right grade at the right time.
“Volvo’s commitment to innovation has not wavered, even during difficult economic times,” said Brent Weary, vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks in Canada. “We continue to bring unmatched value to our fleets and drivers, which ultimately makes a difference to the public in terms of improved safety, a cleaner environment and a reduction in the use of fuel.”
Volvo Trucks North America’s operations and products are guided by the company’s three core values: Safety, Quality and Environmental Care. The Volvo VN and VHD trucks are assembled in the United States at the New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Virginia, while Volvo engines for North America are assembled in Hagerstown, Maryland. Both plants are certified to ISO14001 environmental and ISO9001 quality standards.
Volvo Trucks North America is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services, and one of the world's leading producers of heavy-diesel engines (9-16 liter). The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 96,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells their products in more than 180 markets. Volvo Group sales for 2009 amounted to approximately $29 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Shares are listed on Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange and are traded OTC in the U.S.
The managing director of Mercedes-Benz's commercial vehicle wing in Britain has been arrested as part of an Office of Fair Trading investigation into alleged price-fixing in the trucking industry.
Ian Jones, who has headed the German company's truck wing since 2002, was detained on Tuesday as part of a raid on the company's offices at Tongwell, Milton Keynes. He was later released on police bail.
Mr Jones, who joined from DAF trucks, is a senior figure in the industry and a board member of the Freight Transport Association. He was said to be at work as usual yesterday but unavailable for comment.
A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz declined to comment on Mr Jones, but confirmed that "the OFT visited its Tongwell offices as part of its investigations into the UK commercial vehicle market".
He added: "In that context the OFT carried out an on-site investigation at its offices. Of course Mercedes-Benz is fully co-operating with the investigation which may take many months or more to complete."
As part of its inquiries, the OFT has also contacted Swedish truckmaker Volvo and its Renault subsidiary, as well as Scania and Germany's Man.
In a statement, the OFT confirmed it was "investigating suspected cartel activity involving commercial vehicle manufacturers in the UK". Investigations are at an early stage and the OFT has yet to determine whether the law had been broken.
Under OFT rules, companies involved in price-fixing can be fined up to 10pc of their annual global turnover, and executives face a maximum jail term of five years.