Technology removes the blind spot

Wolfsburg, Germany: Volvo has developed a system that solves the problem of the truck driver’s blind spot on the passenger side. The results of the research will be demonstrated today in the Intersafe 2 EU project in Wolfsburg, Germany.

In Europe, between 30 and 60% of all accidents resulting in injuries occur at intersections. Intersafe 2 is an EU-funded project to develop and demonstrate a “Cooperative Intersection Safety System” able to improve traffic safety at road junctions by as much as 80%. As a partner in the project, Volvo has focused on the truck driver’s blind spot on the passenger side.

Malte Ahrholdt, project manager at Volvo Technology says: “Above all, it is changes on the passenger side of the truck that the driver does not see. Pedestrians and cyclists, in particular, are really in danger here. This system alerts the driver about their movements on the right of the vehicle,” says

He and his colleagues have developed a system to solve the driver’s blind spot. The system can detect and warn the driver when a cyclist or pedestrian gets too close using laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors that monitor the area on the right of the vehicle for left hand drive vehicles.

“As long as there is a need for transporting goods in cities, there will be trucks on the streets. Volvo Trucks is working on all fronts to improve safety – with enhanced information and advanced technology such as the existing reversing cameras and Lane Change Support,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, traffic and product safety director at Volvo Trucks.

“Even so, there are other things we can do to improve the situation still further, and the blind-side turn has been identified as a particularly relevant safety issue.”

As Intersafe 2 is a research and development project, the outcome will not lead directly to a solution for series production, but it does show how critical traffic situations can be tackled with intelligent technical innovations, says Volvo.