“Volvo Dynamic Steering has been a feature of Volvo’s trucks since 2013, and the system is rated highly. Now we want to give our bus customers the same opportunity to benefit from improved work environment and road safety,” explains Peter Danielsson, head of vehicle features and safety at Volvo Buses.
In Europe, Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) is being integrated into the Volvo 9500, 9700 and 9900 as well as chassis with 8 or 11 litre engines for Euro 6. The official launch will take place in October at the international Busworld exhibition, in Kortrijk, Belgium.
Simplified, safer driving performance
Compensating automatically for uneven road surfaces, Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) eliminates vibrations and steering kick, making driving significantly easier and more comfortable. When driving at low speeds, steering wheel inertia is reduced by around 75 per cent, 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 somewhat. At high speeds, the bus maintains consistent direction, even on poor road surfaces.
“Fewer manual steering wheel movements and less vibration reduce the risk of wear and tear in muscles and joints, which means drivers don’t get so tired. Feeling more relaxed and able to remain focused during their whole shift, they also drive more safely.”
Improved work environment, reduced risk of injury
There can be no doubt that Volvo Dynamic Steering fulfils a vital function. According to the Occupational safety and health in the transport sector study carried out by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in 2011, 54 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men active in the European transport sector suffer from muscular and skeletal complaints. For drivers of heavy duty vehicles, discomfort is often concentrated on the back, shoulders and neck, something corroborated by Volvo’s own research.
“Volvo Dynamic Steering is a significant, major step on the road towards a better work environment for all drivers of heavy duty vehicles,” adds Peter Danielsson.
How Volvo Dynamic Steering works
Volvo Dynamic Steering is based on a conventional mechanical steering system, where a steering shaft links up to a steering gear. The hydraulic servo-system generates power which the driver needs to turn the bus’s road wheels. The Volvo system utilises an electrically operated motor, attached to the steering shaft. Working in tandem with the hydraulic power steering, the electric motor is modulated by the electronic control unit thousands of times a second.
At low speeds, the electric motor generates additional power, while at high speeds the steering is automatically regulated, compensating for irregularities which pass up to the steering wheel, from grooves or hollows in the road surface, for example.
Volvo Dynamic Steering won the “Safety” category when the European Coach & Bus Week (ECW) competition ended yesterday at the Busworld Kortrijk trade fair.
See the Vehicle Dynamic Steering video