Volvo has demonstrated the effectiveness of its dynamic steering system by placing a hamster in the driver’s seat of a 15-tonne truck.
Volvo’s goal was to demonstrate how easy its assisted steering system makes turning a vehicle’s steering wheel, even for the likes of its heavy-duty FMX truck, and decided a hamster steering the truck would be the most effective way of achieving its goal.
For those imagining a hamster sitting upright in the driver’s seat steering the truck, the reality of the stunt might be a tad disappointing, but it is no less impressive – it is just a hamster, after all.
Stunt driver Seon Rogers first attached a hamster wheel to the Volvo FMX’s steering wheel, and then coaxed the hamster into turning the truck’s wheel by having it follow a carrot. Based on the direction the truck needed to turn, Rogers would move the carrot, and the hamster’s efforts proved to be enough to manoeuvre the heavy vehicle along the route, which tracked the edges of a quarry in Spain.
Volvo’s dynamic steering system is based on a conventional mechanical steering system, but with an added electric motor providing extra force at low speeds, making vehicles easier to manoeuvre.
Once Volvo realised its system made it possible to steer a vehicle with one finger, it naturally came to the conclusion a small rodent could do as good a job as any human.
While the logic may be questionable, the end result is worth watching.