Volvo makes Active Driver Assist standard, debuts Customer Center at Virginia plant

SD Staff

July 12, 2017

display of the Volvo Active Driver AssistVolvo Active Driver Assist is now standard equipment on the new Volvo VNR and VNL series, Volvo Trucks North America announced Tuesday.

Volvo Active Driver Assist includes Bendix Wingman Fusion, a comprehensive, camera- and radar-based collision mitigation system that is fully integrated with Volvo’s Driver Information Display.

Volvo says it is the first heavy-duty truck OEM to offer Bendix Wingman Fusion as standard equipment.

“Safety has always been part of the essence of Volvo Trucks, and it has been one of our core values since 1927,” says Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Making Volvo Active Driver Assist with Bendix Wingman Fusion standard in Volvo VNR and VNL models demonstrates our commitment to improving the safety of everyone who travels on our roads.”

Volvo Active Driver Assist combines camera and radar sensors to detect metallic objects and vehicles that are stationary or vehicles braking in front of a truck, the company says. If a metallic object of size is detected, audible and visual warnings are made to alert the driver, including red warning light flashes reflected on the windshield. Warnings are displayed up to 3.0 seconds before an imminent impact with the stationary object. If the system recognizes the stationary object as a vehicle, and the driver does not take action, Volvo Active Driver Assist will automatically alert the driver and engage the brakes to help the driver mitigate the potential collision. Braking assist is available at speeds greater than 15 mph, Volvo adds.

Additionally, Volvo Active Driver Assist works with cruise control to help the driver maintain a set following distance behind the forward vehicle. If the forward vehicle slows down, Volvo says Active Driver Assist will alert the driver and, if necessary, reduce throttle to the engine, apply the engine brake, downshift the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission and apply the foundation brakes and brake lights to help the driver maintain the set following distance gap based on the speed of the two vehicles, the company says.

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Thanks to the camera input, Volvo Active Driver Assist also integrates a Lane Departure Warning System with Data Capture capability. Volvo says this system alerts drivers when an unintentional lane change (one in which the turn signal is not activated) occurs and can be turned off by the driver for 15 minutes when traveling through construction zones or other areas where lane markings may be unclear or confusing. The system reactivates automatically after 15 minutes, though the driver has the option to reactivate it manually. Lane departure warnings do not occur if the turn signal is activated or brakes are applied, Volvo says.

“Combining the wider angle of the camera with the radar sensor allows Volvo Active Driver Assist to better detect objects that could be a danger to the driver,” says Ashraf Makki, Volvo product marketing manager – technology. “Together, by providing the most data about what is in front of the truck, the system helps mitigate the potential for collisions or unintentional lane changes.”

Volvo Active Driver Assist with Bendix Wingman Fusion is fully integrated with Volvo’s Driver Information Display and requires no additional displays or hardware kits. Its complete integration enables drivers to more quickly react to warnings.  The system is also integrated with Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) to help drivers avoid rollover and loss-of-control situations on dry, wet, snow- and ice-covered roadways.  Volvo was the first commercial vehicle OEM to make full stability standard on its highway tractors.

According to Volvo, the system relies on data from a front bumper-mounted radar sensor and a windshield-mounted camera and offers a series of visual and audible alerts depending on the forward distance of the front object. Cruise control does not have to be engaged for the Volvo Active Driver Assist system to work, the company says.

With a detection range of 22 degrees wide and 500 ft. in front of the truck, the radar systems can detect the angle, speed and distance of an object ahead. A camera with a viewing angle greater than 42 degrees complements the radar and can determine the size and lane position, as well as other characteristics of an object, Volvo says.

Volvo Active Driver Assist complements safe driving practices and is not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.

Customer Center opens at New River Valley Plant

volvo trucks customer center in new rivervalleyVolvo Trucks North America also announced Tuesday its new Volvo Trucks Customer Center has opened at its New River Valley (NRV) facility. Built to showcase Volvo products, innovations and the brand in a dynamic way to engage visitors, the company says the Volvo Trucks Customer Center was part of a $38.1 million investment in the Dublin, Va., facility where all Volvo truck models for North America are assembled. 

“We are very pleased to open the Volvo Trucks Customer Center, which we believe will serve as a destination for all of our North American customers and other visitors,” says Nyberg. “Now, our trucks, engines and transmissions are all spotlighted in one location, in a one-of-a-kind facility designed to offer a unique brand experience that only Volvo can offer.”

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Officials broke ground on the 36,000 sq.-ft. custom-designed facility in September 2015. Volvo says the facility includes a product showroom, two exhibit rooms, two pilot review rooms and a theater-in-the-round at the center of the building seating 290. The theater-in-the-round revolves and has an 82-ft. turntable.

Additionally, Volvo says the center has an observation area that allows customers to view the trucks traveling around the 1.1-mile Customer Experience Track, where banked corners enable highway speeds and numerous surfaces and grades permit drivers to experience difficult road conditions in a designated off-highway area.

“This has been an historic day for Volvo Trucks North America,” Nyberg says. “First, we launched our innovative and sleek new Volvo VNL, and we opened this new facility. We look forward to an exciting future for Volvo Trucks in North America and in Dublin, Va.”

The building design is shaped like the Volvo Trucks iron mark and was developed with unique Volvo detailing in mind, following a Scandinavian timeless design, the company says.

In addition to the Customer Experience Center, Volvo says the $38.1 million investment funded several plant upgrades to further improve the safety, quality and efficiency of NRV’s manufacturing processes.

“This new facility recognizes the tremendous contribution that NRV employees deliver to the trucking industry and our customers,” says Franky Marchand, vice president and general manager at the plant.

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