Volvo Dynamic Steering – try it for yourself at #EBE201601/11/16
The benefits of Volvo Dynamic Steering, one of the most significant developments since the invention of Power Assisted Steering, can be appreciated first hand thanks to a special Virtual Reality Simulator on the Volvo stand at Euro Bus Expo (#EBE2016).
Volvo Dynamic Steering (‘VDS’) substantially improves directional stability, comfort and safety as well as also significantly reducing the risk of occupational injury.
It is a system that works by deploying an electrically operated motor which is attached to the steering shaft on a vehicle’s mechanical steering system. Working in tandem with hydraulic power steering, this electric motor is modulated by an electronic control unit thousands of times every second.
At low speeds, the electric motor generates additional power, while at high speeds the steering is automatically regulated, compensating for irregularities which can feed up to the steering wheel, from grooves or hollows in the road surface, for example.
Thanks to a specially designed Virtual Reality (VR) Simulator, visitors to Euro Bus Expo will be able to experience for themselves how VDS compensates automatically for uneven road surfaces, eliminating vibrations and ‘steering kick’, making driving significantly easier and more comfortable.
Volvo calculates that when driving at low speeds, VDS reduces steering wheel inertia by around 75%, which also makes reversing much easier. The system also facilitates steering, with the wheel automatically returning to centre when the driver’s grip is loosened. At high speeds, a bus or coach fitted with VDS maintains consistent direction, even on poor road surfaces.
Initially proven in the Volvo Truck range, VDS is progressively being introduced across the Volvo bus and coach range. Today more than half of all Volvo buses sold in mainland Europe are equipped with VDS and now also available in the UK & Ireland.
"Simply put, VDS makes driving easier and safer” said Volvo Bus UK’s Sales Engineering Manager Norman Thomas. “Fewer manual steering wheel movements and less vibration reduces the risk of wear and tear in muscles and joints, which means drivers don’t get so tired. Feeling relaxed and more able to remain focused during their whole shift, they also drive more safely.”
He added, “Many operators who have tried the system in real-life are very positive about what VDS can bring to their drivers – having the VR Simulator at the show is a great way of highlighting its features and benefits to a wider audience.”
The potential health benefits – particularly in reducing strain on muscles and joints - of the award-winning Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) have been underlined by a recent scientific study carried out by VTI, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.
The study found that, on average, it requires 20 to 30% less muscular activity to turn the bus, and in certain manoeuvres strain is reduced by as much as 70%. All 20 of the drivers who took part in the study also reported that they experienced a significant improvement in their work situation.
1 November 2016
Caption for image:
VDS - Volvo Dynamic Steering 1 – Volvo Bus’ virtual reality VDS simulator. Visitors to this year’s EBE can try out the system for themselves on stand D50.
Service Delivery Director
e-mail: andy [dot] kunze [at] volvo [dot] com