14/11/2013

How Volvo Dynamic Steering made world-first stunt possible



In Volvo Trucks’ latest live test film ‘The Epic Split’, Hollywood action star Jean-Claude Van Damme performs one of his world-famous splits between two Volvo FM trucks as they are driven in reverse. However, the incredible stunt – a world first – was only made possible by Volvo Dynamic Steering.

Volvo Dynamic Steering - an innovative new system developed by Volvo Trucks - greatly improves precision and stability in any driving situation. It works through an electronically controlled electric motor that is adjusted around 2,000 times per second to create highly precise steering. When driving in reverse, Volvo Dynamic Steering offers excellent control with minimal effort.

"The film is the perfect demonstration of the directional stability Volvo Dynamic Steering can offer," explains Jan-Inge Svensson, the engineer behind the development of the system's software at Volvo Trucks. "The stability and control are so good that you can reverse a truck over a long distance with very high precision, which is exactly what we've had to do in this film. It had to be perfect - right down to the last centimetre."

At low speeds, Volvo Dynamic Steering makes steering virtually effortless and improves maneuverability. The electric motor also automatically regulates the steering and compensates for irregularities that feed through to the steering wheel, such as side winds or bumps in the road surface. As a result, the need to constantly make small adjustments to the steering is greatly reduced. Furthermore, Volvo Dynamic Steering will also automatically return the steering wheel to its starting position when released, further reducing strain on the driver.

In the film ‘The Epic Split', it is Volvo Dynamic Steering that enables the two drivers in the trucks to maintain the exact same distance and speed while travelling in reverse. Jean-Claude Van Damme's athleticism and the skill of the drivers are vital to the stunt's success, but without Volvo Dynamic Steering the feat would not have been possible.

"The capabilities of the system not only help make a great film - they are also very practical for truck drivers, especially in situations where a lot of steering input is needed," adds Jan-Inge Svensson. "For example, reversing in tight areas or over rough terrain. When reversing with a trailer, small changes to the steering can make a big difference to the vehicle's direction and the effort required from the driver in an ordinary truck can be much higher. However, Volvo Dynamic Steering will help the driver maintain a straight line and provide far superior control of the truck."

See ‘The Epic Split'

See the film where Jan-Inge Svensson demonstrates Volvo Dynamic Steering

See an animation about Volvo Dynamic Steering

‘The Epic Split' follows on from Volvo Trucks' previous viral hits including ‘The Chase', ‘The Hamster Stunt', ‘The Hook' and ‘The Ballerina Stunt'.

See ‘The Chase'

See ‘The Hamster Stunt'

See ‘The Hook'

See ‘The Ballerina Stunt'

November 14, 2013

How Volvo Dynamic Steering works

Volvo Dynamic Steering is based on a conventional mechanical steering system where a steering shaft links up to a steering gear. A hydraulic servo unit generates force that helps the driver turn the truck's road wheels. In Volvo's system an electronically controlled electric motor is added, which is attached to the steering shaft. This electric motor works together with the hydraulic power steering and is adjusted thousands of times per second by the electronic control unit. At low speeds, the electric motor adds extra force and at higher speeds, the electric motor automatically regulates the steering and compensates for irregularities that feed through to the steering wheel, caused for instance by side winds or bumps in the road surface.

For further information, please contact: Marie Vassiliadis, Media Relations Volvo Trucks, telephone +46 31 3224127, e-mail marie.vassiliadis@volvo.com

“The capabilities of the system not only help make a great film – they are also very practical for truck drivers, especially in situations where a lot of steering input is needed,” says Jan-Inge Svensson. image/x-png 1 MB
At low speeds, Volvo Dynamic Steering makes steering virtually effortless. image/x-png 825.5 KB
Jan-Inge Svensson, an engineer at Volvo Trucks, developed the software for Volvo Dynamic Steering – the system that made ‘The Epic Split’ possible. image/x-png 779.2 KB
Successfully capturing the stunt required a lot of preparation and careful attention to every small detail. image/x-png 934.7 KB
The skills of the precision drivers Mikael Rosell and Jens Karlsson were vital to the stunt’s success, but they wouldn’t have been able to do it without Volvo Dynamic Steering. image/x-png 921.7 KB
Throughout his career, Jean-Claude Van Damme has had to perform some hair-raising stunts – but nothing quite like performing the splits between two moving trucks. image/x-png 940.5 KB
Volvo Dynamic Steering greatly improves precision and directional stability, making it possible to drive two Volvo FMs in reverse while maintaining the exact same distance in between. image/x-png 593.5 KB
Volvo Dynamic Steering is one of the many technical innovations to feature on the new Volvo FM, which was launched in April 2013. image/x-png 818.4 KB
Volvo Dynamic Steering offers such perfect directional stability that its possible for Jean-Claude Van Damme to perform the splits between two moving trucks in reverse. image/x-png 851.1 KB
Volvo Dynamic Steering works through an electronically controlled electric motor that is adjusted around 2,000 times per second. image/x-png 433.9 KB
Back

Subscribe to Volvo Trucks News

Would you like to be notified by email and/or by mobile phone when Volvo Trucks publishes news on this homepage? Please fill in your name, company, e-mail address and/or mobile phone number below.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

By ticking the checkbox, you allow Volvo Trucks to save your personal data and use it for purposes related to your query.