Advanced collision avoidance IS now available with Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC), a system that works with a truck's cruise control to maintain a safe following distance between vehicles. Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) introduced VEC March 19-21 during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Volvo Trucks and its technology partner Bendix developed VEC to provide warnings and assistance in interactions with vehicles in front of and to the side of Volvo trucks. Using a radar sensor typically mounted behind the front bumper, VEC monitors vehicles moving in the same direction as the truck. It can detect up to 32 objects within approximately 500 feet in front of the truck.
“VEC combines adaptive cruise control with proactive braking to help drivers avoid collisions,” said Frank Bio, VTNA product manager-trucks. “Volvo Enhanced Cruise does more than give timely warnings to drivers. It also takes action and gives the driver, and the other highway users, more of a safety advantage. VEC represents a solid advance in Volvo's eight decades of safety innovation and leadership.”
Proactive braking means the truck will slow down without driver intervention when necessary. If the vehicle in front slows down below the truck's cruise control set speed, VEC will sequentially reduce throttle to the engine, apply the engine brake and apply the foundation brakes to try to maintain the set following distance. The system applies about one-third of the foundation brakes' capacity, meaning the driver is always has full braking capability if needed.
A visual indicator on the Volvo instrument panel shows drivers the speed of the vehicle ahead and how quickly their truck is closing the gap. The indicator is a series of LEDs outlining the speedometer, as well as a red or green light for the “target” vehicle.The system's default following distance is 2.8 seconds between vehicles, or almost 250 feet when travelling at 60 mph. Drivers may change the following distance setting with a distance switch, available as a factory-installed option. Another option is a side warning system, which alerts drivers to vehicles in the right-side blind spot when changing lanes.