“Driving in a traffic queue is a very monotonous process. The driver may be at a standstill for long periods of time and in such a situation it is easy to become distracted, leading to accidents,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Product Safety Director, Volvo Trucks.
When a truck reaches slow traffic, the drive has the choice whether to activate the system or not and it’s possible to take control at any time. The driver is always ultimately responsible for the vehicle, so to ensure proper focus on the traffic a camera registers how attentive the driver is and issues an alert if it detects a lack of concentration.
“Our experience shows that it takes time for people to build up faith and hand over control to new systems. Having said that, development of the AQuA technology is an indication of what the future might offer,” says Almqvist. “Volvo Trucks is investing heavily in further development of this type of support system for our drivers. This development is an important part of the drive to reach our zero vision, whereby no Volvo trucks are to be involved in any accidents, anywhere.”
Unfortunately, the system that reduces the burden of urban truck driving will not be available for some time as the technology still needs improvement. Furthermore, customer acceptance of a technology that takes so much away from the driver is a critical factor.