Driving a semi truck across country can be a tiresome experience. We would imagine that a lot of accidents happen everyday due to long hours driving and the drivers dozing off. Recent technology in the form of an autonomous emergency braking system from Volvo has innovate to help solve the problem.
We hardly know a more terrifying sight for a driver than seeing a big rig bearing down on him in his rear-view mirror. Volvo Trucks has long been concerned about that scenario and how to avoid it. And it just may have found the solution: Collision Warning with Emergency Brake, an advanced emergency braking system that will go a long way toward avoiding or mitigating the calamitous outcome of rear-end collisions.
“We began by asking ‘what really is the problem?’” Volvo’s product safety director Carl Johan Almqvist says. “The answer is ‘inattention.’ If you watched the traffic ahead of you the whole time, you wouldn’t need systems like these.”
The new system, available on the new Volvo FH Series, combines a radar and a camera that work together to identify and monitor vehicles in front. The system is designed to deal with both stationary and moving vehicles and can prevent a collision with a moving target at relative speeds of up to 70 km/h or 44 miles/h.
When the system detects a vehicle that the truck will hit at its current speed, the warning system activates a constant red light in the windscreen in order to bring the driver’s attention back to the road.
“We don’t want to take over from drivers because we believe they are in the best position to respond, as they might be able to safely drive around the vehicle,” says Almqvist.
But if the truck fails to detect any reaction from the driver, such as steering or braking, the system upgrades to a flashing red light and a beeping sound. If there is still no reaction, the system applies the brakes gently.
When all this fails, the system activates the emergency braking system and does everything possible to bring the truck to a complete stop.
“In the vast majority of cases, the initial warning signals will attract the driver’s attention,” Almqvist says. “And in the rare case that they don’t, the emergency braking system will still help prevent a serious accident.”