Volvo invests in new technology to reduce number of thefts from trucks

Solely in the EU, goods are stolen from trucks each year amounting to about SEK 75 billion and the number of thefts is rising all the time. In addition to the costs to society and the shipping companies of the thefts they result in the driver environment becoming increasingly insecure and vulnerable.
image text: Volvo FH16
Now the Volvo Group through Volvo Technology Transfer has acquired an interest in the Jönköping-based company Datachassi, which has developed a patent pending theft protection system based on intelligent radio technology and sensors that can sharply reduce thefts.
“We foresee a huge potential for this invention,” says Per Wassén, investment manager at Volvo Technology Transfer.

Most of the thefts from trucks are from the trailer and to date there has not been any satisfactory security system for protection.  The key feature with the Datachassi invention is that it links the tractor with the trailer using sensors and intelligent radio technology and, consequently, reduces the risk of theft and slashing of cargo covers. The system is built into the trailer’s sidelights and can easily be refitted. Solely in Europe, there are three million trucks that theoretically could be equipped with the system and several leading truck manufacturers have expressed major interest in it.

“We foresee a huge potential for this invention, which has good possibilities of becoming an industry standard,” says Per Wassén, investment manager at Volvo Technology Transfer. “This is an investment fully in line with the Volvo Group‘s striving to offer our customers safe and efficient transport solutions.”

In brief, the innovation is based on radio communications. The trailer’s sidelights are modified and equipped with sensors and radio beacons that communicate with each other. When objects or persons come too close to the trailer, the sensors are triggered and send alarm signals via the radio beacons to the cab. The alarm can then be sent wireless to a central server or to a security company, depending on how the system is programmed.

Eventually, the system can also contribute to making goods and passenger transports safer, since it can also provide warnings about pedestrians or other unprotected road-users coming too close to the vehicle.  A Swedish patent application has received positive preliminary approval and the application for a world patent is pending.

Volvo Technology Transfer AB is part of the Volvo Group and focuses on developing and supporting new businesses of relevance to the Volvo Group. Part of these operations is to invest in companies and projects that are technically and commercially attractive.

Note: A press conference will be held on Thursday, February 21, at 11:00 a m at the Science Park, Jönköping, Case conference room, 5th floor.

February 20, 2008

For reporters who want more information, please contact Per Wassén, Investment Director, Volvo Technology Transfer, tel +46 31 66 91 68 or +46 708 96 00 55