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Volvo Trucks Launches New Unique Stability Systems - VIDEO ENHANCED

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STOCKHOLM - July 30, 2009: In 2008, Volvo Trucks was the first manufacturer in the world to present a further-enhanced ESP (Electronic Stability Program) system that stabilises both rigid trucks and trailers. Now a new version is being launched which can also handle 6x2 and 4x2 rigid trucks with one or more trailers. Volvo’s new ESP system can handle everything from tractors to multi-trailer rigs. One major benefit of the new version is that it covers the majority of dangerous-goods transports, such as fuel haulage. Single-vehicle accidents in which the truck rolls over or drives off the road account for half of all truck accidents involving fatalities or severe injuries.

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"Reducing the risk of roll-over accidents and jack-knifing situations is one of the most important measures for cutting the number of truck accidents," says Carl-Johan Almqvist, Volvo's new traffic and product safety director. "We are happy that we can now offer the system on our FE, FM and FH models so that more customers have the opportunity to exploit the system's advantages."

Serious accidents of this type also bring about major economic consequences in the form of damage to trucks, trailers and cargoes.

"Adopting ESP is an excellent investment for the haulage firm. Simulations of collision scenarios and physical tests with and without ESP show that the system improves all the roll-over and skid scenarios studied," says Martin Palming, ESP project manager.

ESP responds with lightning speed The ESP system is controlled by a computer that receives information from a variety of sources, including the ABS brakes' wheel sensors, the steering system and a gyroscope. Using this information as a basis, the onboard computer can instantaneously determine if the truck is about to roll over or skid. ESP responds directly by individually braking one or more wheels on the truck and trailer. If necessary, the system can also lower engine revs.

In a skid situation, the main response is individual wheel braking, with the system braking the wheel or wheels that offer the best potential for bringing the vehicle safely back on course.

In a skid situation on a slippery road surface and in scenarios with a high risk of the vehicle rolling over, ESP reacts by lowering engine revs to reduce vehicle speed and braking individual wheels to stabilise the entire rig.