Electric vehicles (EVs) – specifically, electric trucks – are steadily bringing about waves of global change; nothing overnight, per se, but steady changes nonetheless. The rise in EVs signals favorably impactful reductions in carbon emissions, improved air quality, and a not-quite-as-heavy dependence on fossil fuels. The adoption of real, sustainable transportation systems can change more than just what we drive, but how we drive and how we interact with the trucks themselves. The tech involved (a.k.a. high-voltage systems capable of powering even the heavier types of electric trucks) is also capable of changing how we regard emergency responses; what types of EVs are on the scene for such responses, how electric trucks that support first responders require their own sets of newer safety parameters and routines, and more.
Enter Volvo Group. In light of what the manufacturer has described as “building on a long heritage of safety innovations,” Volvo has launched a new augmented reality (AR) safety app for electric trucks, designed specifically to support emergency responders.
"Volvo Group's ambition is to continue the delivery of products that are 100% safe,” said Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer Volvo Group. “We are proud to be right at the forefront of the electric truck revolution with high-performing solutions, and we duly recognize the importance of ensuring the safety of first responders who are called to an emergency, should an incident with an electric vehicle occur.”
“The new AR app,” Stenqvist continued, “is a powerful tool that can support emergency services to quickly and safely secure a site, while minimizing the risk of injury to themselves and others."
Developed to deliver information from electric trucks to emergency services teams in an instant, responders can arrive with more preparedness to ensure safer conditions for rescue, triage, whatever a situation necessitates. Via its combination of smart overlays (e.g. connectivity, cameras, sensors, 3D modeling and AR), the app provides a detailed view of the electric truck, highlighting locations of high-voltage cables, battery packs and other key components. It even offers step-by-step instructions on how to safely shut down the power supply for if (or when) a scene grows more dire.
"The safety app has been tested in a variety of real-world scenarios and has received positive feedback from first responders who have tried it in the field," said Vincent Barnoux, AR Expert and Business Solutions Engineer at Volvo Group.
The long story short here? When folks think of electric vehicles, contributions to our energy securities (i.e. by reducing reliances on imported oils), the stabilization of the energy market, job creation to stimulate the economy and more may spring to mind. But so should EVs’ capabilities for frontline responders. Investments in electric trucks aren’t limited to those for consumer sales, but for ambulances driving to scenes, or EVs caught up at the scenes themselves.
Volvo’s Emergency Response Guide app is now available for free download via Google Play and the App Store.
Edited by Greg Tavarez