Volvo chases better truck safety with a touch of car technology
Trucking might not be a particularly glamorous profession, but that doesn't mean drivers can't enjoy some of the luxuries we expect of our regular road cars. Volvo Trucks has been pushing technology previously reserved for cars into its range of semis, with a smart new navigation system designed to make life easier and safer for long-haul drivers.
At the core of the new Volvo in-cab technology is a desire to make things safer and simpler for truckers. Rather than forcing drivers to use separate systems for navigation, entertainment and fleet management, the new unit integrates it into the one setup, which can be controlled using the touchscreen, voice controls and steering-wheel buttons.
As you'd expect of any modern in-car navigation system, the new truck setup allows nav inputs using addresses, coordinates and touching a specific point on the map, while drivers can also access fleet-management detail like internal messages, coaching and deadline info. It even shares information about driving performance and fuel economy, something that will make any cost-conscious trucking boss happy.
On the entertainment side of things, drivers can pass time listening to (now integrated) streaming services like Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn, while DAB+ digital radio is also included. All inputs can be controlled using the push-to-talk button on the steering wheel, minimizing time spent with eyes off the road.
"The new system for services and infotainment allows drivers to really personalise their workspace," says Anders Edenholm, Chief Project Manager at Volvo Trucks. "Overall this helps create an enhanced and safer driving experience. It increases the feeling of home when drivers are away for long periods of time."
The new infotainment system isn't the first high-tech touch to make its way into Volvo Trucks. A dual-clutch gearbox has been optional since 2014, designed to deliver better fuel economy and smoother shifts on the move. Its capability was put to the test with a huge load-pulling stunt last year.
Source: Volvo Trucks