As they do in the Volvo FH, the newly designed headlights will show you what lurks further ahead of the truck – and just around the next bend.
Hanna Degerman is a visibility specialist determined to make it easier to see and be seen when driving the new Volvo FM.
Stronger, longer, wider
“We have decided to become number one for visibility,” says Hanna Degerman, without sounding boastful. “Volvo FM drivers have to see well in so many different environments – from highways and country roads to cities and villages.” This is why the headlight beam is now stronger, longer and wider. And according to Stig Elofsson, the engineer behind the light, it is a radical improvement.
“The intensity of light from the new headlights is very noticeable. It makes driving in the dark less tiresome for the driver and improves safety for everyone.”
Lights left, lights right
As the truck starts to take a bend in the road, the headlights automatically turn to light up the newly chosen path. “In built-up areas and country roads, dynamic headlights make a huge improvement to the driver’s field of view. On a dark night when visibility is made even worse by rainfall, this takes a lot of the tension out of driving. Not to mention the risk of collision with an unseen road user,’’ says Hanna Degerman.
Daylight in the dark
The optional Bi-Xenon headlights offer extremely high performance, and are particularly good for older drivers with tired eyes, like Stig Elofsson. “These have twice the light intensity of halogen and a totally different colour temperature – it’s like driving in daylight,” says Stig Elofsson. His face lights up, “You can drive forever with these on.”
“When you are driving in a built-up area, seeing where you are going is rarely a problem,’’ continues Stig Elofsson. “But when you take a sharp turn there’s often a blind spot in front to the side of the cab. This is where the enhanced static cornering lights come in: As you slow down and indicate to turn, a side light at the bottom of the headlight automatically lights up the area. It’s a great help in towns and cities.’’
Cab becomes lighthouse
When the truck is parked in a dark or suspicious looking area, the approach lights are a driver’s best friend. Stig Elofsson explains how:
“Just like a passenger car, you activate the approach lights with the key fob. This creates a pool of light all around the cab – and the trailer too, if you have it connected. Seeing the cab light up like a lighthouse can be a real comfort if you’re wondering if anybody is hiding in the shadows.’’
The visibility effect
The question remains, will the new light performance be enough to reach the company’s visibility goal? Hanna Degerman thinks it will, “The new FM lighting is as good or better than that of any other truck.”
You can drive forever with these on