DUBLIN, Va. – Volvo Trucks North America plans to offer its Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) system, designed to reduce driver fatigue, as an option on trucks starting next year, the company announced Thursday.
Volvo will start taking orders for VDS in the fourth quarter of this year, with production starting in April 2020, said Chris Stadler, product marketing manager at VTNA.
First launched by Volvo Trucks in Europe in 2013, VDS is ideal for diverse and changing terrains and automatically adjusts to handle any roadway condition, Stadler said.
It will be available as an option in the Volvo VNL and VNR models.
Stadler said tests had shown that VDS has the potential to cut muscular strain by up to 30% and for some specific motions, strain can be reduced up to 70%.
He said that is because the ultra-responsive steering system is designed to lessen steering force by up to 85%.
“Providing state-of-the-art features that improve drivers’ physical working conditions and comfort is an important aspect of driver satisfaction, as well as increasing overall productivity and road safety.”
VDS features an electric motor mounted on top of the hydraulic steering gear. Input from multiple vehicle sensors, at over 2,000 times per second, determine the appropriate steering wheel response.
The system continuously monitors drivers’ actions, environmental factors and road conditions faster than the blink of an eye, Stadler said.
Key VDS features include:
- Vehicle Stability Control leads to increased directional stability on the highway, which offers a more relaxed and safe driving experience with full control at all speeds.
- Return-to-Center, or Zero Return enables the steering wheel to return to the center position when the vehicle is in motion, making it easier to reverse the vehicle and maneuver in tight areas.
- Dampening allows the steering system to filter inputs from the road surface and, based on feedback from multiple sensors, helps improve handling and vehicle stability.
- Lead/Pull Compensation provides a torque offset within the steering system to compensate for crowned roads, steady crosswinds and other short-term conditions that can affect handling.
“In the event of a VDS failure, the system will convert back to conventional steering,” Stadler said.
Peter Voorhoeve, president of VTNA, said he is optimistic that the introduction of VDS will lead to a surge in demand for Volvo trucks.
“This is really a breakthrough in terms of safety and in terms of driver comfort,” he told Truck News at a press event in Dublin, Va.
He said certain carriers were using Volvo trucks to attract drivers and the VDS “will only reinforce it.”
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