A new safety system on Volvo’s electric trucks has been announced by the Swedish manufacturer.

The company has developed an acoustic alert technology that offers unique sounds for its battery-powered models.

As a result, pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users will be able to hear when one of the EVs is approaching.

In addition, the new safety system helps meet upcoming requirements regarding road safety.

From 1st July 2021, all EVs in the UK will be required to emit a certain sound level when travelling above 12mph.

Importantly, the sound level is speed-dependent and the level gets higher as speeds increase. 

Therefore, at 12 mph it should be at least 56 decibels. 

If the vehicle is too quiet, an external acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) must be added.

Volvo says it has developed a set of ‘premium sounds’ for the electric trucks.

Furthermore, it claims the sounds are designed to be ‘pleasant and unobtrusive’.

In total, there are four different sounds within the new safety system.

They will inform people close by about what the truck is doing.

For example, audible alerts will sound when the truck is moving forward, idling and reversing. 

The sounds will vary in intensity, based on truck speed and will shift in frequency during acceleration and deceleration.

Anna Wrige Berling, Volvo’s traffic and product safety director, welcomed the legislation.

“From when we were children, we have learnt to rely not only on what we see, but also what we hear in traffic. Sometimes so much so that people don’t even look before crossing a street! 

“We want to help ensure that pedestrians and cyclists notice when they are close to our electric trucks.”