GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - Volvo Trucks displayed several exciting next-generation projects at ITS, the world congress for intelligent transport systems and transport services in Stockholm Sept. 21-25. Among its exhibits were "thinking" trucks that automatically handle some of the routine aspects of driving, communicate with other vehicles on the road, and, if necessary, step in automatically in critical situations.

On the Volvo stand, the company presented the latest technological solutions in the field of active safety in the form of a concept truck and a driving simulator. The simulator demonstrated Automated Queue Assistance, a function where the vehicle accelerates and brakes automatically at low speeds, for instance in slow-moving traffic tailbacks.

Volvo Trucks also displayed a truck part of an EU project entitled "Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport" (HAVEit). It is a major investment in intelligent next-generation vehicles featuring advanced driver-assistance systems, according to the manufacturer.

Among their many special features, the HAVEit trucks include E-horizon, which, via links to map databases, provides a driver information about hills, curves, and junctions ahead on the route. The driveline is accordingly adapted so that progress is as efficient and economical as possible.

On a test track outside the exhibition grounds, visitors test drove trucks from the international Safespot project, whose brief is to examine how tomorrow's cars and trucks can communicate with one another and with the surrounding infrastructure.

The Safespot project has defined and tested various applications based primarily on the vehicle, such as safety in junctions, warning of frontal impact, warning of poor road surface or detection of cyclists and pedestrians.

On the test track was also trucks from the CVIS (Cooperative Vehicle Infrastructure Systems) research project, which focuses on infrastructure-based applications. These applications encompass speed alerts, warnings of accidents on the road and the creation of safety margins for emergency rescue vehicles, among much else. The driver receives the information via a display screen or in the form of audio/visual signals in the vehicle cab. However, the information can also be transmitted via signs or flashing lights at the side of the road.