Volvo Trucks South Africa (VTSA) has invested R6.5-million into its semi-knockdown manufacturing plant in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
The investment will allow the facility to install and calibrate selected safety features that were previously not available in the local market.
“Volvo Trucks prides itself with regard to safety and this has always been one of our core values,” says Volvo Group Southern Africa president Torbjörn Christensson.
“We believe that all original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs, or truck assemblers) in our industry have a responsibility to provide the safest transport solutions to their customers, as this has a trickle-down effect to all road users.
“The impact that a truck has when involved in a collision is often very serious and, to this end, Volvo Trucks is constantly increasing the safety of its vehicles in a bid to decrease the overall impact on all road users in the event of a collision.”
The features that form part of the Volvo Active Safety Package that is now available to the South African market will be available as optional extras on most Volvo Truck range models fitted with an electronic brake system, electronic stability control and disc brakes.
The safety package consists of a number of features.
Adaptive Cruise Control with forward and emergency braking automatically adapts the vehicle’s speed to the flow of traffic and informs the driver when the distance to the vehicle in front represents a risk.
The system makes use of radar and camera technology that work simultaneously to identify and monitor the vehicles in the path of the truck.
Emergency braking allows for an initial warning that consists of a red light on the windscreen, activated when the system detects a vehicle that the truck could collide with at its current speed.
Should the driver not react, the warning signal is upgraded to a flashing red light, accompanied by audible beeping.
If this is ignored, the system mildly applies the truck’s brakes.
In the event of this also failing, the emergency braking system activates to ensure the truck does not collide with the vehicle.
Lane Keeping Support is a technology that reduces the impact of risk factors in traffic, such as tiredness or distraction.
The system has been designed for long-haul operators and monitors the truck’s position on the road when exceeding speeds of 60 km/h.
If the driver unintentionally crosses a road marking, the system alerts the driver through a buzzer.
Lane Changing Support tells the driver of vehicles in the truck’s blindspot.
Driver Alert Support warns the driver if he or she becomes inattentive or drowsy.
It uses a camera that tracks the position of the truck in its lane, while also monitoring the steering wheel movements of the truck.
Alcolock technology is a factory- mounted electronic breath alcohol analyser, designed with the aim of reducing alcohol- related accidents.
It requires the driver to take a breathalyser before the engine of the truck can be started.
It consists of a stationary unit on the instrument panel of the truck and a hand-held unit with a cable.