Volvo Trucks has released a film featuring a hamster - ‘Charlie’ - steering a Volvo FMX up the side of a Spanish quarry.
The aim was to demonstrate Volvo’s Dynamic Steering system which uses an electric motor to replace the driver's muscle power, making it possible for the 6oz hamster to steer the truck. This technology is unique in the automotive industry.
Jan-Inge Svensson, the engineer behind the development of the system's software at Volvo Trucks explained, "At low speeds, a heavily laden vehicle is so easy to manoeuvre that it can be steered with just one finger. When driving on the highway, this dynamic steering system offers unbeatable directional stability."
Charlie the hamster underwent several weeks of training prior to the test. “Charlie’s our star! He demonstrated that he has the best strength, confidence and attitude to learning new ideas”, says animal trainer Grace Dickinson.
'The Hamster Stunt' is one of many spectacular tests involving Volvo Trucks' new models. In the recent video 'The Hook', Volvo Trucks’ President Claes Nilsson balanced on the front panel of a Volvo FMX as it dangles 70 feet above Gothenburg harbour. In ‘The Ballerina Stunt', slackliner Faith Dickey balances between two Volvo FHs driving down a motorway (see The Mover, October 2012).
Picture: Charlie the hamster