Volvo Trucks: Tech Should Supplement Drivers

Although vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are working on the means by which to take the driver out of the driving equation, Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety director at Volvo Trucks is not so sure that is the right approach.

Although vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are working on the means by which to take the driver out of the driving equation, Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety director at Volvo Trucks is not so sure that is the right approach.

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Radio-controlled model of the Volvo Concept 2020

“We believe in the driver and appreciate that the human brain can make decisions that automatic systems struggle with,” he said. “The computer never gets tired, but it can only do things for which it is programmed. As soon as you are outside of normal situations, that is where the driver’s skill comes in. Drivers are often best placed to assess a situation and to choose between slowing down, panic braking, or driving round an obstacle.”

So they’re working on strategies that combine sensors, cameras, and radar along with the driver. For example, when driving in a traffic jam, it may be useful for the automated system to be primary. Almqvist: “When you are moving slowly, your mind wanders, you aren’t focused on driving and if the car in front suddenly stops, you are more likely to hit it. These are situations where it’s a good idea to support the driver.”

Especially if the driver is in a truck.