Available on Volvo coach chassis and its bodied derivatives from mid 2015, the Volvo DSS provides forward collision warning and emergency braking as well as lane keeping support. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is also available as an option on B11R when specified with the I-shift gearbox.
GoBus.ie Managing Director, Jim Burke, explained: “Aside from all the usual high quality aesthetic and operational aspects we’re used to from Volvo, we’re particularly impressed with the Volvo Driver Support System that has been fitted to our new B11R, which is one of 12 new coaches we’ve taken delivery of this year.
“During our visit to the Volvo factory in Poland, it was suggested that one of our latest vehicles be fitted with the newly developed DSS, which at the time was undergoing final testing. Legislation is coming in that means active safety systems such as this will need to be fitted in all commercial vehicles from November 2015 onwards. In the coach world, this will apply to M3, Class III category vehicles - coaches with seated passengers only.
“We immediately agreed to be involved in this test programme. As a company, we welcome any new developments that improve passenger safety and that of our drivers, so we leapt at the opportunity to try it out.
“We’ve been using the system since March this year so all our drivers have had the opportunity to try it out and they all think it’s great. The system works by vibrating the driver’s seat if the coach slightly deviates over the road lines. In addition, if the driver is using cruise control, the coach will automatically activate the ACC to reduce speed, keeping it at a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Once any danger is averted, the coach will automatically revert to its original speed without any input from the driver.”
Norman Thomas, Product Engineering Manager for Volvo Bus, added: “The new legislation requires two systems to be included and these are forward collision warning with emergency braking and lane keeping support system.
“However, while the ACC is not included within the legislation, with Volvo this is being offered on all B11R chassis immediately as an option and as such is included in GoBus.ie’s vehicle.
“We currently have three field test coaches operating in service, the one for GoBus.ie as well as one in Germany and another in Austria.
“The operators’ participation in the testing is not restricted to simply driving the vehicle in service, they are also required to download data on a regular basis and transmit that to Volvo Bus Corporation in Sweden. GoBus.ie’s involvement has been of enormous help with this project, particularly as their vehicles cover an extensive amount of mileage and their data inputting has been excellent.
“While the field test is continuing, this system has now been introduced into serial production at our chassis plant in Boras and the complete vehicle plant in Wroclaw, Poland.
“It is worth mentioning that effectively, the coach and commercial vehicle industry is leading the way with this type of safety legislation and technology. While many passenger cars have similar systems available as options, there is no legal requirement at this time.”
GoBus.ie’s latest fully integral Volvo B11R 9700 has 57 seats and features all the latest technology expected by today’s coach and bus operators to deliver a first-rate service to their passengers.
Jim Burke added: “These coaches suit our type of work extremely well, which involves operating in and out of Dublin and Dublin Airport. Luggage capacity is excellent on the 9700 and this allows us to run at full efficiency and greatly increases our Airport business. Our coaches work to a very stringent timetable and the reliability of the Volvo 9700 allows us to fully utilise our vehicles. The excellent interior and comfortable ride means our passengers are always pleased and relaxed when they reach their destination. Passenger facilities on-board include free Wifi, toilets, CCTV and 240 volt charging sockets for phones and laptops etc.
“Our Volvo Retail Bus & Coach Sales Manager, David Porter, was a brilliant help throughout all aspects of the purchase process, from the initial order to the final build. Murphy Commercials of Galway has built our trust over a period of time and the aftermarket service we receive from them and the rest of the Volvo dealer network continues to be excellent, which was another reason for us selecting Volvo again.”
David Porter said: “We are delighted to have delivered another fully integral Volvo coach to GoBus.ie and it’s great they’ve been able to participate in the DSS trial, which has been, I believe, a mutually beneficial exercise. We are also receiving very positive reports of fuel economy and ride comfort and we look forward to continuing this successful relationship.”
The Galway based operator has specified close to one hundred Volvos over the past two decades, with 12 Volvo B11R 9700s already delivered this year. This takes the company’s current fleet to around 25 vehicles. The Volvo 9700 coaches work on schedule services between Cork and Dublin along the M8 motorway and between Galway and Dublin on the M4/M6 motorways.
10th July 2015
Caption for image:
GoBus.ie has purchased an integral Volvo B11R 9700 Euro 6 coach as the latest addition to its fleet.