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Volvo's new electric truck safety app delivers vehicle information to first responders

An augmented reality app shows a truck on its screen
The app is developed to deliver valuable information from the electric truck to the emergency services team arriving on the scene. Volvo Trucks

Volvo Group has launched an augmented reality (AR) safety app for electric trucks, designed specifically to support first responders in an emergency. The app is developed to deliver valuable information from the electric truck to the emergency services team arriving on the scene to guide them in real time and ensure safe rescue conditions.

Electric trucks make transportation more sustainable, but electric vehicles can do more than that. Electric trucks change how we interact with the trucks themselves. The technology involved – specifically the high-voltage systems capable of powering a heavy electric truck – is also changing how we regard emergency response, as it requires its own set of new safety parameters and routines.

"Volvo Group's overall ambition is to deliver 100 percent safe products. We are proud to be at the forefront of the electric truck revolution with high-performing solutions, but we also recognize the importance of ensuring the safety of first responders who are called to an emergency should an incident with an electric vehicle occur," says Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer at Volvo Group. "The new AR app is a powerful tool that can support the emergency services to quickly and safely secure the site, while minimizing the risk of injury to themselves and others."

The Emergency Response Guide app, now available for download free of charge from applicable app stores, provides safety information for all Volvo Group heavy electric truck brands, including Volvo Trucks, Renault Trucks, and Mack Trucks. For Mack electric trucks, the AR features will be added during June 2023. 

By using a combination of connectivity, camera, sensors, 3D modelling, and augmented reality overlays, the safety app can provide first responders with a detailed view of the vehicle. It offers information on the location of high-voltage cables, battery packs, and other key components as well as step-by-step instructions on how to safely shut down the electric vehicle's power supply in case of an emergency.

The safety app has been developed by Volvo Group's Research & Development facilities in Sweden, France, and the United States. Apart from augmented reality information and 3D models, the app also contains all safety documentation relating to the electric truck, which will be accessible to the app user once the truck is identified.

"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," says Vincent Barnoux, AR expert and business solution engineer at Volvo Group.

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