After Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson stood on a truck suspended above a Swedish port, the company has performed another impressive stunt to promote the Volvo FMX truck line. In this case, a six-ounce hamster named Charlie drives a truck to the top of a disused Spanish quarry.
Though it might sound impossible for a hamster to drive a truck, the video is designed to highlight the new electric power steering system, called Volvo Dynamic Steering, on the FMX truck range. Not only does it make for fingertip-light maneuvering at low speeds, but Volvo also says that VDS can cancel out the effects of crosswinds, sloped roads, and even potholes. The idea is to send fewer jarring motions to a truck driver’s hands, reducing strain and making it easier to drive for long distances.
“At low speeds, a heavily laden vehicle is so easy to maneuver that it can be steered with just one finger. When driving on the highway, this dynamic steering system offers unbeatable directional stability,” Volvo engineer Jan-Inge Svensson said in a statement.
In this clip, a Volvo FMX is equipped with an oversized hamster wheel on the steering wheel. Charlie sits inside and runs back and forth to follow a carrot dangled by the (human) Volvo driver. In doing so, Charlie the hamster steers the Volvo FMX as it drives up the narrow cliff paths of a disused quarry. According to Volvo, Charlie underwent “several weeks” of training exercises to prepare him for his death-defying stunt.
You can see the result for yourself in the video below.