Volvo BeeVan design concept creates a positive buzz

Driver visibility and innovative designs are seamlessly integrated with advanced safety technologies for Class 8 trucks in a one-quarter-scale model truck concept from Volvo Trucks North America, on display at the North American International Auto Show. The Volvo concept is part of the Michelin Challenge Design competition.

The BeeVan concept truck from Volvo puts the driver front and center in the truck's cab, instead of the traditional left-side position, in what Volvo's designers call the FVDP — Full-View Driver Position. FVDP has more than 180 degrees of uninterrupted visibility, as the windshield arcs around the driver, while remote vision cameras eliminate blindspots. Dual armrest consoles place other advanced technologies at the driver's fingertips, including lane tracking, vehicle proximity sensors, and driver drowsiness detectors.

This design concept begins even before the driver enters the vehicle, as the door slides back — and not out into traffic — and hidden access steps slide out to “greet” the driver. Steps retract when not in use. Opening the door also causes the driver's seat to move rearward and rotate toward the driver.

Once inside the cab, materials are used to support, refresh, and insulate the driver from the outside, and to promote effective work and rest. The cab includes sleeper berths, a dinette table, and other components to combine office, relaxation, dining, personal storage, and sleeping functions.

The windshield is the backdrop for another bold design idea combining aerodynamics and improved engine efficiency. Engine cooling is enhanced by positioning two radiators at the base of the A-pillar/dash transitions. Air is directed from the wraparound grille through the radiators and exits via the roof. This means heat transferred from the radiator to the air is never in contact with the engine. The engine benefits from direct airflow through the traditional grille opening.

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