“Safety always comes first”

Bruno Duchet works on active safety and warning systems for medium trucks. It has given him the chance to combine two of his major interests: road safety and technology. “Well-developed systems can reduce the number of accidents on our roads and save the most important thing we have – human lives,” he says.
Bruno Duchet, Feature Leader Driver Assistance at Renault Trucks, Volvo Group

What does your job involve?
I help develop safety systems that assist drivers in hazardous situations and adapt them for multipurpose trucks. I previously worked mostly on powertrain-related technology, as well as suspension, braking and other electronically controlled systems that interact with active safety. I also test drive competitors’ vehicles in order to assess their driver assistance systems. It is important to see what is going on in the market and make sure we always have the edge.

What is the most important aspect of what you do?
Our safety vision of zero road accidents with Volvo Group products includes everyone, both inside and outside the vehicle. Developing the best technology to support that aim is vitally important work. The systems we create seek to make driving safer and reduce the risk of human error.

What kind of innovations does your department develop?
We work on systems, such as ‘automatic brakes’, that are activated if a truck gets too close to the vehicle in front. Another system warns drivers, with sound and lights, if the truck leaves its lane.

What are the major challenges in road safety?
While we are reducing the number of accidents throughout Europe, accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists are not yet falling as rapidly as they should. It is really important that we continue to prioritize safety systems that protect people outside the vehicle. This is very significant for medium trucks as they are often operating in urban environments.

What does the future hold?
The solutions Volvo Group develops should offer support to professional drivers, who know their job and tend not to want intrusive monitoring or supervision. We are designing warning systems that react to danger in a flash but are relatively inconspicuous when they are not needed. I am watching the development of self-driving vehicles with great interest. We are taking it one step at a time – these systems cannot make mistakes.

Bruno Duchet
Job Title Feature Leader Driver Assistance at Renault Trucks, Volvo Group
Location Lyon, France
Education/Qualifications Degree in Electronics and Embedded Software Engineering