The main component of the 360 degree scan is a data platform that fuses the sensory input from cameras, radars and other sensors positioned on all sides of the truck. The technology is able to distinguish between different objects, such as other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, and it can also calculate their direction and distance from the truck.
It is the first time that a vehicle has been equipped to register and understand everything that is around it and be capable of suggesting appropriate actions to avoid incidents. The aim of the technology is to significantly reduce the chance of accidents caused by a limited field of vision, and it has been in development since 2010 as a collaboration between Volvo and Chalmers University in Sweden.
The technology can predict traffic scenarios up to five seconds ahead, depending on the speed of the objects, and map out the best plan of action. Once a risk of collision is identified, the technology will initially notify the driver, for example by warning with an alarm signal. If suggestions are ignored by the driver, autonomous braking and steering systems can take over in case of emergencies.