Award for technology behind “The Epic Split”
Volvo Dynamic Steering makes the truck driver’s job both safer and more comfortable. Now six of the people behind the system are receiving the Volvo Technology Award 2014. It will be handed over by President and CEO Olof Persson at AB Volvo’s annual general meeting on April 2.
“Volvo Dynamic Steering elevates the steering of heavy commercial vehicles to an entirely new level. This technology gives the driver better control over the vehicle and makes the working conditions much easier. Thanks to first-class engineering work we are the first vehicle manufacturer in the world to be able to offer customers this sort of system,” says Olof Persson.
An electronically controlled electric motor attached to the steering shaft is the unique innovation in Volvo Dynamic Steering. The electric motor works together with the hydraulic power steering to make light work of manoeuvring the truck. The system makes the truck much lighter to steer at low speeds, irregularities in the road surface are effectively filtered out, and at high speed the truck benefits from better directional stability. The system also self-centres the steering wheel in all situations, even when reversing.
Volvo Dynamic Steering is available on Volvo FH, FH16, FM and FMX trucks. The technology is demonstrated in the film “The Epic Split” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. In the film, Volvo Dynamic Steering allows the two truck drivers to reverse with immense precision; first, they maintain exactly the same distance from each other and then they move apart.
“The job of the electric motor is to create the perfect steering feel. Sensors monitor what the driver wants to do and the control unit automatically adjusts the steering to suit the current situation, ensuring that the driver is not distracted by road irregularities making their way through to the steering wheel,” says Jan-Inge Svensson, one of the engineers behind the development of Volvo Dynamic Steering.
The other prize-winners are Håkan Andersson, Gustav Neander, Sten Ragnhult, Kristoffer Tagesson and Henrik Wiberg.