Since beginning this week, a dash cam video of a truck that brakes in a emergency situation saving a road crossing kid, went viral across globe. First posted on Youtube by Dashcam channel and following which many main stream media in regional news channels shared the video and explained the situation in their own version starting from “This is how a Mercedes Benz Truck Brakes?” to ” Volvo’s emergency brakes at its Best”. But actually the truck was a Volvo FH 500 and the braking wasn’t automatic and its completely manual.
Yes, you have read it right. Before we see more on this, we shall get you some insights of this incident. This occurred on 9th June 2017 in Herad in the south of Gol municipality in Norway. The Truck is a Volvo FH 500, owned by a Latvia based Logistic Company called Kreiss. Kreiss is a major company in Latvia and a noticeable service provider in the European logistics market. Company’s own fleet consist of 3000 trucks of Volvo and Mercedes Benz, which includes refrigerators, tautliners, container chassis etc and close to 90% of trucks comply with latest Euro 6 emission level standards.
New generation Volvo FH was launched in 2012 and Volvo claimed it the safest Volvo truck ever built. After several simulations, component tests, sled tests and over 25 full scale mode tests Volvo was proud to tell that FH is safest Volvo ever.
The important safety feature over and above others is Advanced Emergency Braking which is basically an automatic active braking, that brakes in case of emergency without assistance from Driver. Volvo has had Automatic Emergency Braking standard on its vehicles since 2014 and says it will make Forward Collision Warning standard on all new Volvo’s by 2018, part of its IntelliSafe suite of safety technologies. The company says its goal is that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
Automatic Emergency Braking – AEB
Emergency Brake is the last phase in the sequence of events that occur when Collision Warning with Emergency Brake is activated. Firstly, a pre-warning signal is given if the system senses that the truck is in a dangerous situation. The driver is warned by a red LED light, reflected on the front windshield. This is followed by a flashing light and an alarm if there is still no reaction from the driver.The emergency brake is then activated if the driver still hasn’t acted on these warnings.
Now coming to the incident that happened in Norway, the Logistic company, in cooperation with top level experts from Volvo Corporation (Sweden) carried out an investigation, to identify whether it was the innovative Volvo FH emergency braking system, or the human reaction that prevented the accident. The investigation revealed that in this particular situation, it was 100% human reaction.
The report shows that distance between the truck and the child, who suddenly appeared on the road, was critically short. Moreover, the child was running and appeared on the road unexpectedly. Thus, in that particular situation, it was impossible for the Volvo FH emergency braking system to recognize the child as an obstacle, and stop urgently. From the above stated, it could be concluded, that it was the truck driver, who managed to evaluate situation accordingly, his prompt reaction and immediate action that prevented the accident from happening.
Though the driver was at his best, it goes without saying that its difficult to brake an articulated truck, and Volvo FH with its Electronically Controlled Brake (EBS), patented engine brakes, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Anti-lock Brake Syste, Lane Changing Support, Lane Keeping support, Drive alert support, Hill start Aid, hydraulic retarder, emergency brake lights (brake light flashes in case of panic braking) has actually played a vital role in saving a life.
With inputs from Kriess