22 January 2007

Bee happy

Volvo crazy concept truck puts white van man centre stage

Volvo BeeVan

It's not often that truck drivers get to pretend they're at the wheel of a Formula One racer, but Volvo could solve that daydream with its latest concept lorry, the BeeVan.

This leviathan puts the driver centre stage, sitting in the middle of the cab rather than to one side, which Volvo's designers say gives the driver much better all-round vision.

The driver's field of vision is further improved by the curved windscreen and narrower front profile.

The BeeVan also uses cameras to eliminate blind spots, similar to the company's existing BLIS technology already used on some of its road cars.

Volvo has also designed the BeeVan to be much more aerodynamic than current truck design permits, with sidesteps that are hidden away and only slide out when needed.

One other touch the BeeVan has in common with an F1 car are the radiators that direct warm air up and over the engine to prevent it from interfering with engine cooling.

The BeeVan is still some way off being a reality, but Volvo says ideas from the vehicle could start to make it into production in the next couple of years.

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