Volvo Group launched an AR safety app for electric trucks, designed specifically for first responders recently.
Volvo AR Safety app to Ensure Safe Rescue Conditions
Electric trucks will change the world – not only in terms of making transportation more sustainable, but also in how we drive and interact with the trucks themselves. What’s more, the technology involved – specifically the high-voltage systems capable of powering trucks – is also going to change how we view emergency response, bringing with it its own set of safety parameters and routines.
In May 2023, in a world first, Volvo Group launched an AR safety app for electric trucks, designed specifically for first responders. The app has been developed to provide instant, important information which allows people arriving on the scene to ensure safe rescue conditions.
The Emergency Response Guide app, now available for tablets on the Android and Apple stores, provides safety information for all electric trucks produced by Volvo Group. As well as all the emergency response documents, the app allows you to explore and look around a 3D model of each truck. But perhaps the most interesting feature is an AR – augmented reality – function which allows you to observe the scene of the emergency through an iPad or tablet camera, and which will then overlay graphics and instructions that enable you to get a full, detailed view of where potentially dangerous components are located, as well as the steps required to make them safe.
The app contains details for every electric truck on the road, searchable by registration number/vehicle identification number or chassis number. This makes sure that the information received by the first responders is as accurate as possible for the specific situation that they find themselves in.
Opening the app’s AR mode will start the camera then overlay the location of key high-voltage components, as well as other potential hazards like compressed air. If, for whatever reason, the truck cannot be recognised by the AR function, you can search by model and use the 3D model to see where these components are located.
As well as AR information and 3D models, the app also contains a store of safety documentation relating to the trucks, which will be accessible to the user once the truck has been identified.
Vincent Barnoux, AR Expert & Business Solution Engineer at Volvo Group, explains what motivated the development of the app. “The digitalisation of our industry is growing fast. CAD models, as well as augmented reality, are significant when it comes to product visualisation. They enable product understanding when it comes to safety, among other aspects, by showing that which is naturally invisible,” he says.
“The development team has taken the opportunity that arose with the electric technology shift, and its brand-new architecture, to develop emergency response information with augmented reality,” continues Vincent. “The team’s investment in that area, alongside technological progress in computer vision artificial intelligence, mobile computing power and sensors, made it possible.”
“Not only does this demonstrate Volvo’s safety vision, it’s also about making sure that the new safety parameters that electric trucks bring with them have been considered,” says Anna Wrige Berling, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks. “We want to provide information to first responders, so that they in turn can prepare for the general shift towards electric transportation and how it will change their work. Then there’s the fact that this app is a genuinely valuable use of AR: once again, proving how technology is an essential part of our overall safety mission.”
All electric trucks will be added to the app during regular rollouts, so it’s important to keep it updated. The app can be downloaded for tablets from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store right now.