BeeVan: Volvo's Truck Concept
Volvo has made quite a racket at the recently concluded 2007 North American International Auto Show when it presented its BeeVan concept truck. The truck looks funny on the outside but is loaded with ultra amazing technology on the inside.
The BeeVan offers unparalleled driver visibility and innovative design ideas which are flawlessly integrated with advanced safety technologies for Class 8 trucks – something only Volvo can accomplish. The Volvo concept is part of the Michelin Challenge Design competition.
According to Ruben Perfetti, Director of design for Volvo Trucks North America, “All of our vehicle designs begin with Volvo’s dedication to its core values of Safety, Quality and Environmental Care. Whether a design is intended for large-scale production or developed as a future concept, it must be a true Volvo in its design, as well as in its approach to transportation and society.”
There is nothing conventional about the BeeVan concept truck from Volvo from its unique design down to its Volvo head gasket. It puts the driver front and centre which Volvo’s designers call the FVDP or Full View Driver Position -- a far cry from the traditional left-side position. The FVDP has more than 180 degrees of uninterrupted visibility made possible by the huge windscreen arcs around the driver. There are also remote vision cameras that eliminate the blind spots. Additional features of the truck are the dual armrest consoles that place an array of other advanced technologies literally at the driver’s fingertips, including: lane tracking, vehicle proximity sensors and driver drowsiness detectors.
The advanced design concept begins even before the driver enters the vehicle, with its door sliding back instead of the usual “out into the traffic” opening and that’s not all – there are also hidden access steps slide to greet the driver. The steps retract when not in use for added security, safety and aerodynamic efficiency. Opening the door also causes the driver’s seat to move rearward and rotate toward the driver for easy access.
Inside the cab are innovative materials that help support, refresh and insulate the driver from the outside environment, and therefore promoting a comfortable working station to drivers. The cab also includes sleeper berths, a dinette table and other versatile components that combine office, relaxation, dining, personal storage and sleeping functions.
The dramatic windscreen is another bold design idea from Volvo that combines aerodynamics and improved engine efficiency. Engine cooling is also enhanced by two radiators that are positioned at the base of the A-pillar/dash transitions. The air is directed from the wraparound grille, through the radiators and exits via the roof. And what’s the significance of this? The heat is transferred from the radiator to the air is never in contact with engine, for increased cooling efficiency. The engine also benefits from the direct airflow through the traditional grille opening which provides it with additional cooling and reduced drag.
About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the Motor City and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.