Volvo Trucks is introducing a cloud-based ‘Connected safety’ service that will allow the company’s trucks to communicate with each other, and also with Volvo cars, in order to automatically alert each other to hazardous traffic situations.
Due to pioneering collaboration, the two independent vehicle manufacturers are now allowing their cars and trucks to share real-time traffic hazard information. Owned by the Chinese auto maker Geely, Volvo Cars launched the passenger-car version of Connected Safety in 2016. Swedish heavy vehicle manufacturer Volvo Trucks is now rolling out its version of the service, so Volvo-branded trucks and cars are able to alert each other to potential hazards. This has been made possible because the two companies have an agreement to share safety-related data between their respective cloud-based vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems.
Although Connected Safety was originally developed to send out alerts to nearby vehicles connected to the service whenever a driver activates the vehicle’s hazard warning lights, in the longer term, the cloud-based system can be expanded with additional safety-enhancing functions. Volvo Trucks will initially introduce Connected Safety on new trucks in Sweden and Norway, where both types of Volvo-branded vehicle account for a significant proportion of annual new-vehicle registrations. In the collaborative system, when the hazard warning lights are switched on, the truck sends a signal via the driver’s internet-connected cell phone to Volvo Trucks’ cloud service. From there, the information is forwarded to the corresponding service at Volvo Cars. An alert is then transmitted to all connected cars and trucks approaching the location of the vehicle whose hazard lights have been activated.
“Expanded cooperation between different players is one of the most important keys to improved road safety. If more vehicles are able to exchange real-time information about the traffic situation, it will lower the risk of accidents. With Connected Safety we are opening the door to the future, with the hope that more vehicle manufacturers will join in,” said Carl Johan Almqvist, traffic and product safety director at Volvo Trucks. “A vehicle standing still by the roadside in poor visibility risks being hit from the rear, which can have severe consequences. An alert issued well in advance gives all drivers of nearby cars and trucks the same opportunity to reduce speed, adjust their driving to the traffic situation, and avoid a collision.”
Emanuele Piga, director of new services development at Volvo Trucks, added, “As the technology undergoes further refinement and more vehicles are linked to the system, real-time information will become an important complement to the various intelligent safety and driver support systems found in our trucks today. Connected Safety marks the start of a new phase in our ongoing drive to promote safe driving and prevent accidents.”