Increased machine intelligence
“The results from this investigation highlight the opportunity to reduce costs through optimized operator behavior,” says Frank. “We can see that the operator has a great margin of influence over the fuel efficiency and productivity of the machine. If we could raise the efficiency and productivity of all the operators in this study to the same level as the operator with the best results, it would add up to a big saving for our customers.”
“By developing an advanced control system that assists the operator, we should be able to decrease human influence and actively help operators work more efficiently without reducing productivity,” continues Frank. “Volvo cabs of the future will assist the operator by presenting information in heads-up displays and other innovative approaches. Through haptic controls (technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user) we will see the machine interacting with the operator and giving feedback.”
What the future holds
At Volvo CE there are hundreds of research projects, investigations, tests and experiments underway – the company’s engineers are looking ahead and developing innovative technology for future machine designs. “This study is only really the beginning of this research and it will be developed further and used in a number of different ways,” says Frank. “The next stage is to find – using virtual simulations – the optimum way of operating a machine. It will be interesting to see how this compares to the top operator from our investigation. There is a lot of potential to develop an advanced operator assist system and training tool with these results and, with more data from different machines in other applications, site managers could use this information to set the pace of production and optimize the overall efficiency of the entire job site.”
Text: Charlie Ebers
Picture 1: Eighty operators took part in Volvo CE’s study which aimed to discover the deviation in fuel efficiency and productivity between different operators.
Picture 2: The operators performed the same tasks in three different simulated work sites.
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For further information, please visit: www.volvoce.com/press
Director, Communication Technology
Volvo Construction Equipment
Tel: int +46 470 387809
Tel: int +44 207 107 2016