WATERLOO, Ont. –Volvo Trucks Canada took to the testing track in early September to showcase a group of technologies designed to boost fuel economy, safety and driver productivity.
The three Volvo systems, Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) by Bendix, Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC) by Bendix and the I-Shift automated transmission, were available on display and to test first-hand during a special customer event at the Waterloo Regional Emergency Services Training and Research Complex Sept. 9-10.
Representatives from both Volvo and Bendix were on-hand to showcase the three systems and also offer a rollover simulation experience and a ride-and-drive opportunity.
As a standard feature on all Volvo trucks, VEST is designed to make emergency braking more efficient, while reducing the likelihood of a rollover, jackknife or loss of control. VEST sensors detect dangerous driving situations and respond by automatically reducing the engine torque and activating the necessary brakes, according to Volvo officials.
“By automatically compensating for driver error, miscalculation or rapidly changing road conditions, VEST helps the driver keep the vehicle under control even on wet or snowy roads, black ice and exit ramps,” said Carol Girard, marketing manager for Volvo Trucks Canada. “We’ve been offering the technology for three years and we believe it’s the kind of safety feature that no driver should be without.”
Volvo Enhanced Cruise is designed to work with a truck’s cruise control to maintain a safe following distance between vehicles. Using a radar sensor, VEC monitors vehicles moving in front of and to the side of the Volvo truck. Officials say the system has the ability to detect up to 32 metallic objects within 500 feet of the front of the truck, will alert the driver to potential danger and, when in cruise control, even automatically slow the truck to avoid a collision.
The I-Shift is a 12-speed, two-pedal automated transmission that Volvo officials say saves fuel while boosting productivity, safety and driver satisfaction.
Using microprocessor technology, I-Shift is designed to continuously monitor changes in grade, vehicle speed, acceleration, torque demand, weight and air resistance, and uses that information to automatically select the best gear for the engine.
“I-Shift is far superior to any other automated manual transmission on the market,” Girard said. “With the advantage of an intelligent transmis-sion, drivers can shift like a fuel-efficiency expert, reducing costs and putting less stress on the driveline. When combined with Volvo’s new EPA2010 engines, customers will see even more significant fuel savings.”
Officials say the I-Shift also improves safety by reducing driver fatigue.
“The driver can focus on the road, making turns, avoiding other traffic, without worrying about being in the right gear on the right grade at the right time,” the company said in a statement.
“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 Canada.
“We continue to bring unmatched value to our fleets and drivers, which ultimately will make a difference to the public in terms of improved safety, a cleaner environment and a reduction in the use of fuel.”
As part of the event, Truck West’s weekly WebTV show Transportation Matters was on hand to film the products in action. To view the episode as well as the show’s archives, visit www.trucknews.com/videos.