Volvo's VEC will notify the driver when a pre-determined following distance is compromised, applying the brakes if necessary.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Volvo Trucks North America has announced it is complementing its VEST stability system with Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC), which will identify objects beside and ahead of a tractor and help the driver avoid a collision.
VEC is another spin-off of Bendix’s new Wingman ACB, also introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show. It uses radar to detect vehicles in front of the truck and helps maintain a safe following distance by sounding alarms when a pre-determined distance is compromised. If an accident is imminent, the system will de-throttle the engine and apply the engine brake as well as the service brakes. It will also inform the driver if a further evasive maneuver is required.
“VEC combines adaptive cruise control with proactive braking to help drivers avoid collisions,” said Frank Bio, product manager, trucks. “Volvo Enhanced Cruise does more than give timely warnings to drivers. It also takes action and gives the driver – and the other highway users – that much more of a safety advantage.”
Only about one-third of the truck’s foundation brake capacity is applied by the system itself, leaving the driver in control of the vehicle. If a vehicle in front of the truck picks up its speed after an intervention, VEC will automatically re-establish its original cruise speed.
The system is fully-integrated into Volvo’s cruise control system and is automatically turned on when cruise is activated. The default following distance allowance is 2.8 seconds, but Bio noted it can be customized by the fleet. When cruise control is not activated, the system still provides audible warnings but doesn’t have the ability to help stop the vehicle.
Three versions of VEC are currently available: front only; side only: and front-and-side. The side versions of VEC notify a driver when a vehicle is occupying its right side blind spot when changing lanes.
VEC will be available as an option on Volvo trucks and its list price is about US$2,100, according to Bio.
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