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Volvo testing “birds-eye-view” awareness system for truck drivers

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September 23, 2008

Inside the cab of the Volvo hybrid refuse truck

Inside the cab of the Volvo hybrid refuse truck

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September 24, 2008 The concept of computer-synthesized bird’s eye view for drivers has been gaining a lot of ground with Japanese automotive manufacturers in recent times, with many concept cars emanating from Japan featuring the advantages of an at-a-glance situational awareness solution. Now Volvo has developed its own Overview Surveillance System (in conjunction with Toshiba), which gives drivers a view of the vehicle and its surroundings from above. It is designed primarily to support the driver in slow speed situations, such as when backing, parking or driving down narrow city streets. With the advanced driving assistance system installed, the driver can quickly grasp the situation for greater control and safety.

The system utilizes four fisheye cameras mounted on each side of the vehicle. This electronic eye system “de-warps” and seamlessly combines the images to produce an overhead view of the truck and its surroundings. What makes this system truly unique is that it gives the driver a sense of distance by showing the relative positions of objects or people in relationship to the truck itself. The driver gets critical information and advanced driving assistance with just a quick glance at the system’s monitor.

“The Overview Surveillance System is yet another example of Volvo’s commitment to safety and in particular to developing advanced support systems that increase driver control,” says Lars-Göran Löwenadler, Volvo Trucks’ Safety Director. “With at least 90 percent of all traffic accidents involving the human factor, it’s really all about preventing the risk of accidents in the first place. And this means making things easier for drivers.”

The Overview Surveillance System has been installed on Volvo’s hybrid refuse trucks and is currently undergoing real-life testing. The goal is to make the system available throughout the Volvo Trucks’ range.

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