System which offers several driver benefits
It goes without saying that the Volvo Dynamic Steering system offers many benefits. As the electric motor resembles a developed servo system, the steering can be made extremely light at low speeds. If, for example, the truck is being driven in a mine, it can be steered with just one finger.
At the same time, the electric motor has been programmed to increase steering-wheel resistance as the speed rises, to create an optimal working environment for the driver.
Another of the main advantages the system offers from a working environment angle is that the truck is less sensitive to crosswinds and cambered roads, thereby enabling the driver to avoid counter steering.
“When it comes to safety, it’s also a huge help when braking if the driver experiences a difference in friction on the right and left side, for example, if the road is slippery. The truck and first and foremost the front axle will attempt to pull to the side, as there is more braking force on one tyre, but this is eliminated and the steering wheel therefore remains straight. If the driver brakes on a surface like this, he can basically let go of the steering wheel and the system will make sure that the steering wheel remains straight,” explains Jan-Inge Svensson, who has been in charge of developing the software that creates the behaviour of the system.
Jan-Inge Svensson and his colleague, Sten Ragnhult, the person responsible for the mechanical system, are just two of the people who have been involved in the project from the very start. They have therefore experienced both successes and setbacks. One of the challenging problems has been physically finding the space for the auxiliary system.
“We had to make the electric motor as small as possible in terms of both height and diameter and I have to be honest and confess that, at the start, I was still convinced that it was impossible! However, with a great deal of help from our good friends at the cab department, we succeeded in doing a little conversion work and finding the space,” says Sten Ragnhult with a smile.
So it is hardly surprising that Volvo Trucks has made sure to have the innovation patent-protected.
Benefits for the driver with Volvo Dynamic Steering:
At low speeds – the electric motor takes over the work from the driver´s muscles. Since pain in the back, neck and shoulders have been common among truck drivers this is very important.
At high speeds – improves directional stability, which in turn gives the driver a more relaxed driving experience with full control at all speeds.