The Volvo Trucks Customer Center completed significant structural upgrades to the facility’s customer experience track in Dublin, Virginia, tripling the size of the three-mile custom-designed course, including two super-elevations demonstrating radius and grade change, as well as extending the track to include a one-mile straightaway, the company announced.
Safety features of the Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) system can be demonstrated to understand how VDS handles high speed, incline acceleration, descent braking, and curve steering mobility. The company notes that visitors are paired with certified commercial driver’s license (CDL) operators to guide them through the expanded track.
According to the press release, the enhanced customer experience track includes grade changes with a 6-7% increase at its steepest points with tighter S-curves to pilot the VDS system and maneuverability through three miles of highway track, with a one-mile straightaway where drivers can accelerate to highway speed levels. The track also features an 8-inch concrete curb drop build-out used to simulate certain hazards drivers might experience on real-world routes, enabling customers to experience how the VDS system takes effect. The VDS system, as noted in the company’s press release, allows drivers to maintain control when encountering potential threats by uneven roads, ditches, and tire blow outs, helping the truck to arrive at a safe stopping point.
Vocational vehicles, including the VHD 300 dump truck, can be maneuvered on a gravel off-road section of the course designed for customers to experience the VDS system in action for applications that require an extremely tight turning radius, Volvo notes. The vehicles are tested on a designated three-quarter mile-section with two steep 27% grades to experience Rock Free, an extreme I-Shift mobility function that lets the driver rock the truck back and forth to by pumping the accelerator if the truck gets stuck in mud or sand.