Volvo Trucks has announced that its Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC) with Active Braking-- which provides full-time active braking-- will now be offered on all new Volvo VN series highway tractors ordered with VEC. Previously, trucks equipped with VEC provided active braking only when the vehicle’s cruise system was engaged.

According to Volvo, VEC with Active Braking utilizes a radar sensor, inset behind the front bumper, to help maintain a safe following distance from slowing vehicles and identifies stationary objects in the truck’s path. The active braking system provides full-time object detection and integrated visual feedback on the instrument panel and driver information display, audible warnings and braking intervention to help reduce the potential or severity of a crash. If braking intervention becomes necessary, the system will reduce the engine throttle, apply the engine brake, and when needed, apply up to two-thirds the brake power.

“Active Braking provides valuable situational information and helps professional drivers take preventative measures to avoid hazards,” said Frank Bio, Volvo Trucks product manager – trucks. “Volvo’s integrated approach to active safety technologiesprovides the unique advantage of being able to set the warning hierarchy and present the most important warning or warnings to the driver.”

Volvo Trucks is also offering a Lane Departure/Driver Alertness Warning System, which provides audible and visual alerts during unintentional deviation from the driving lane or drowsy driver characteristics. The system combines a windshield-mounted camera, sophisticated vision software, processor and power supply into a compact and robust unit that’s integrated with the warning hierarchy established on all Volvo vehicles, noted the OEM.

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) attributes human error as the cause of more than 90% of all truck-involved crashes,” Bio said, citing FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study. “Active safety technologies that provide driver warnings and take corrective action play a vital role in helping to avoid accidents, while continuing to help drive the strong downward trend in truck-involved crash rates.

“Volvo has long been recognized as a global leader in safety, but many motorists may not realize the Volvo trucks they see on highways feature active safety technologies that can help reduce the potential or severity of an accident, very similar to those equipped on their own passenger vehicles,” added Bio.

Since 2005, Volvo Trucks has offered Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology as standard equipment on all VN series highway tractors and as an available option on VHD vocational trucks. The full electronic stability program assists the driver in maintaining control during emergency maneuvers and braking events, dramatically reducing the likelihood of a rollover, jackknife or loss of control. VEC, introduced in 2009, provides advanced collision avoidance while the truck’s cruise control is engaged. VEC allows professional drivers to maintain a designated speed while also maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles. 

To view a video demonstrating Volvo Trucks’active safety technologies, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AboySLfXd8c&list=UUkKEthtUQHmBqIYZTHyfXoA&index=1&feature=plcp