Smart Brakes Stop This Truck from Squashing You Like a Bug
Cruising along at on the open road in your sweet ride is the stuff of romance movies and car commercials. Until that squirrel runs in front of you, you slam on the breaks and the semi truck behind you kisses your bumper at 40 MPH. It's not a pretty picture. Volvo, the automaker best known for deliriously safe vehicles, says it has the answer and offers proof in the white-knuckle video above.
Created by Volvo's trucks division (and introduced last year), the collision warning and emergency brake system is actually a series of tech steps designed to prevent one of its giant trucks from rear-ending a slowed or stationary vehicle. According to the release, the system employs radar to detect vehicles in front of the truck that it may run into. First it shows the driver a blinking red light. If he fails to notice, it adds a beeping sound. If those alerts fail, Volvo Trucks' system takes action — first gently applying the brake and eventually using the emergency brakes to bring the truck to a full stop. It works in trucks moving at up to roughly 43 mph.