Article about the CVDC's Actively-steered B-double courtesy of BigLorryBlog
Tomorrow's truck technology today...the CVDC demonstrator at MIRA videoed by Biglorryblog! (Sorry about the wind)
Ever stopped to wonder what the cost of heavy goods vehicle rollovers
are in the UK? Well at the recent Cambridge Vehicle Dynamics
Consortium's open day at MIRA on Tuesday I learned that it could be as
much as £40-£60 million per year by the time you factor in all the
delays, clean-up costs hospital charges etc. Moreover, as most
roll-over accidents can't be prevented by driver action alone it's
hardly surpring that truck and trailer manufacturers have been looking
at electronic stability programs. Now I learn that the Cambridge
Vehicle Dynamics Consortium has developed an experimental HGV with
active roll control which tilts the vehicle into the corner to increase
rollover threshold. And this clip shows CVDC's technology demonstrator
B-Double--at the MIRA bash, with active roll control on the tractor.
Sorry about the wind noise--it was pretty awful weather! Now click
through here for more...
Here's the installation of the active roll control on the drive axle of
the Volvo FH featuring what's got to be the biggest anti-roll bar on a
truck in the world! At the CVDC seminar BLB witnessed a very impressive
video of an artic tanker fitted with active roll control like this
which tilted the unit INTO the turn on a circular steering pad, thereby
reducing the centre of gravity--most impressive. And before anyone
shouts---'You can't have all that on the back of a truck' it's an
experimental rig and as things are increasingly miniaturised something
like this, only smaller, is clearly going to come along in the
other clever thing on the CVDC B-Double demonstrator was its active
steering systems on both trailers--the short 'A' trailer also has a
clever 'splittable' bogie that can be unbolted from the frame with two
of the axles then available to become a convertor dolly for a roadtrain
or Swedish rigid and semi-trailer set-up. What the active 'path
following' steering does on the rig (where six of the axles steer
including all on the trailers) is to ensure that whatever the driver
does is mirrored perfectly by the following trailers with either
minimal or no cut in and swing-out. Thus roundabouts would present do
problem to a 25.25m long rig.
I saw it in action and it's very impressive and answers the question
about LHV traffic compatibility. You can reverse it easily too and the
guys at CVDC have even created a system where the steering is done by a
joystick when backing-up---rather than the conventional steering
wheel---using cameras to show the driver where the rear trailer is
going! All-in-all a most interesting day out looking at what could well
feature on tomorrow's trucks!
The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight is a new initiative involving researchers in heavy vehicle engineering at Cambridge; the Logistics Research Centre at Heriot Watt University working with a Consortium of companies from the road freight and vehicle manufacturing industries. The aim is to make road freight transport more sustainable. Follow links to two articles about the centre...
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