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Advanced stability control standard for Volvo VN, VT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Volvo Enhanced Stability Control, an advanced vehicle stability system, will become standard on V...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Volvo Enhanced Stability Control, an advanced vehicle stability system, will become standard on Volvo VN and Volvo VT trucks in North America beginning this summer.

Company officials made the announcement at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. They said the system will bring motorists and truckers a higher level of protection from truck rollovers and jackknifes.

Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. plans phase in the vehicle stability system later this year.

Volvo Enhanced Stability Control uses Bendix ABS-6 with ESP from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC. Volvo announced in March 2004 that Bendix ABS-6 Advanced would be its standard antilock brake system for its Volvo VN and VHD trucks; it is also the standard antilock brake system for the recently introduced Volvo VT. The most recent announcement makes the electronic stability features of the ABS-6 Advanced a standard component of new Volvo VNs and Volvo VTs.

"Volvo has been synonymous with vehicle safety for decades, and our trucks are famous around the world for their ability to protect drivers," said Scott Kress, senior vice president Sales & Marketing for Volvo Trucks North America.

"Today’s announcement continues Volvo’s efforts to move safety technology beyond occupant protection and to focus on crash avoidance. Vehicle safety experts know that the best accident is the one that never happened. Enhanced Stability Control (ESC) is another way that Volvo is using technology to give the driver more control in adverse situations and more ability to avoid accidents," Kress said.

ESC works by selectively applying the brakes on individual wheel ends, depending on driving conditions, vehicle speed and other inputs from onboard sensors, Kress explained. This helps the driver reduce speed, keep the vehicle in proper alignment, and in turn reduces the tendency for the truck and trailer to slide or jackknife. This stability function is known as “yaw” control. In addition to jackknife, yaw control is a safety advantage in situations involving oversteer or understeer, and sudden transitions from dry to slippery surfaces.

Another element of the ESC system monitors inputs from sensors and applies all available brakes on a vehicle to rapidly reduce rollover potential while turning. Rollover is an especially dangerous accident for truck drivers, contributing to more than half of truck driver accident fatalities, according to studies. Rollover stability is a safety advantage in high friction conditions involving curves, sudden lane changes and obstacle avoidance manoeuvres.

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