With significantly less vibration from the road surface and an improved working environment for the driver, Volvo Dynamic Steering is an important part of Volvo Trucks’ drive to improve road safety, with the focus firmly on the driver. Now the new technology has won an award for the quality innovation of the year.
The advanced Volvo Dynamic Steering has received the coveted Quality Innovation of the Year 2013 award. The prize is awarded every year by SIQ, the Swedish Institute for Quality, and the aim is to stimulate the development of high-quality innovations.
"Volvo Dynamic Steering is an excellent example of an invention developed to meet both commercial needs and user wishes. The new technology offers the driver better manoeuvrability and an improved working environment," says Associate Professor Matti Kaulio of the Department of Industrial Economics at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, who formulated the jury's decision.
In order to win, the innovation must have a clear link to a specific customer requirement. Volvo Dynamic Steering did particularly well in this respect.
"The fact that the innovation is both a response to individual needs and meets commercial requirements is truly exciting. It also somehow succeeds in offering a combination of tried and tested as well as cutting-edge technology to create a better product. Then of course there is the safety aspect, which is part and parcel of Volvo's brand image," says Matti Kaulio.
"Proof that we are on the right track"
Volvo Trucks is delighted and proud to receive the award, which reinforces the company's long-term aim of improving road safety and the driver's working environment.
"It is very gratifying to receive this award; I had a feeling we might be in the running, so it was great to receive that phone call. It is proof that we are focusing on the right things and it gives us added incentive to continue to develop properties that lead to better quality and a safer driver's environment in our trucks," says Hayder Wokil, Quality Director at Volvo Trucks.
Volvo Dynamic Steering was developed in close cooperation with drivers to better meet their needs.
"Throughout the development process we constantly invite customers to provide feedback. This ties the customers closer to us and involves them in the development of our new products. Volvo Dynamic Steering is a milestone in our focus on driver environment and traffic safety," says Hayder Wokil.
Volvo Dynamic Steering almost entirely eliminates vibration in the steering wheel. As a result, the driver does not need to keep correcting the steering wheel while driving, thus reducing the risk of aches and pains in the back, neck and shoulders. Since steering the truck is very easy on the body, the driver can relax. He or she does not get tired as quickly and runs less of a risk of an accident.
The new technology also makes it possible to reverse the truck with immense precision, a property that made possible Jean-Claude van Damme's remarkably successful stunt - The Epic Split.
The awards ceremony for the winner of the 2013 Quality Innovation of the Year is being held today at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The prize is awarded once a year to companies, organisations or individuals whose innovations are systematic in their operation and designed to meet an identified customer need. Behind the award are a number of quality-promoting foundations in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
January 20, 2014
Here's how Volvo Dynamic Steering works
Volvo Dynamic Steering is based on a conventional mechanical steering system in which a steering rod is linked to a steering gear. The hydraulic power steering system generates the power that the driver needs to turn the steering wheel. The Volvo system uses an electronically controlled electric motor attached to the steering rod. The electric motor works together with the hydraulic power steering system and is adjusted thousands of times per second by the electronic control unit. At low road speeds the electric motor provides added power, while at higher road speeds the electric motor automatically regulates the steering to compensate for any unevenness that makes its way up to the steering wheel, for instance as a result of side winds or potholes in the road.
Volvo Trucks' YouTube channel has several films about VDS: