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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Scania and the safety revolution


Stronger cabs, emergency brakes, better protection for drivers and their fellow road users. Safety is in Scania’s DNA. Here are some of the key innovations.

It’s a familiar situation for all truck drivers: you are about to make a right turn at a crossroads. The inner-city street is busy with rush-hour traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. Having checked the side-view mirror, you put the indicator on and start turning.

Suddenly an alert sounds in the cab: something is moving in your blind spot! You brake the truck and discover a stressed cycling father on his way to pick up the kids from daycare. Phew! – Saved by the Scania truck’s built-in safety feature: Side Detection.

“This is the latest advanced driver assistance system in our trucks. We think it will contribute a lot to reducing what is a common accident that often has tragic consequences,” says Adam Claesson, Senior Engineer for active safety systems at Scania.

Constant focus on safety
The Side Detection function is the latest safety feature from Scania, but throughout its history the company has focused extensively on all aspects of safe transport – vehicles, drivers and fellow road users.

The focus areas include passive safety (protecting the driver and other road users if an accident occurs) and active safety (preventing accidents from occurring at all). This means building safe, ergonomic cabs, as well as developing clever hardware solutions and intelligent support systems.

Safety is in Scania’s DNA

“Safety is a part of our DNA. Historically, Scania has invested vast resources into the area, and we often strive to go beyond the stipulated road and vehicle safety legislation,” says Dan Loftén, Expert Engineer for crash safety within Scania.

Or, as Adam Claesson puts it: “Safety is part of our goal of driving the shift in the transport industry. Not only do we want to save the environment, we also want to save lives.”

1968 Power steering Scania launches a new generation of trucks. The highly successful LB80/110 forward-control cabs features power steering as standard. Photo: Ingemar Eriksson

New era for safety in the transport industry
The early 2000s ushered in a new era of transport and traffic safety. Active electronic systems to enhance the driver’s performance were introduced, including the Electronic Stability Program. Introduced in 2004, this feature stabilises the truck when there is a risk of skidding, overturning or jackknifing.

Claesson adds, “And in 2013, we introduced advanced emergency braking (AEB). It’s a fantastic feature that reduces the risk of the vehicle colliding with the one in front. In my view, AEB is one of the most important active safety features in today’s vehicles, along with lane departure warning and our new side detection functionality.”

Scania introduces the world’s first side curtain airbag
With the launch of the company’s new truck generation in 2016, Scania took safety to a new level. The company introduced the world’s first side curtain airbag for trucks and the new truck generation also includes a stronger cab, where ultra-high strength steel has been used.

“During the development of the new truck generation, we spent an enormous number of man-hours on crash simulations and crash testing,” says Loftén. “In total, we crashed over 40 trucks. We also used the latest technologies, such as Thor, the world’s most advanced crash test dummy.

TIMELINE
Throughout the company’s history, Scania has constantly added new features to ensure the safety of drivers and others on the road.
1961 Impact test on cabs surpass legal requirements Impact test of a cab HB17 (LB110) 1968 in the Scania laboratory Södertälje, Sweden. Photo: Kåge Larson

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