Products of the Week: Volvo’s Dig Assist and Co-Pilot

Kerry Clines

July 5, 2017

Man looking at Volvo Dig Assist screen

Volvo says that Dig Assist, when used with the company’s Co-Pilot in-cab interface with a 10-inch touch screen, unlocks the full potential of an excavator’s productivity and allows operators to easily input job specifications and track progress to ensure the job is done right the first time.

“We’ve designed Dig Assist in a way that is very easy to learn and very intuitive to use — requiring as little as 10 minutes of upfront training and only a few touches to get started with a new job,” Matt McLean, product manager, GPE Products at Volvo Construction Equipment, says in a press release. “Once you’re up and running, there’s no more guesswork. You can design and track progress in real time — thereby reducing the need for on-site engineers, surveyors, and manual grade and depth checks. It’s very simple to use, but can make an enormous impact to productivity and job profitability.”

To begin using the tool, the operator opens the application and sets a reference point using a tooth on the bucket to tell the system where the earth begins. The operator then inputs the target depth and grade. Then, the operator can visualize the bucket and the machine’s position in real time, as well as indicator guide lines that provide a “follow the line” reference point. An on-screen light bar display tells the operator when the target grade has been reached. With Volvo Smart View, the operator can change to a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the machine to improve jobsite safety.

Dig Assist helps the operator work more independently. When the information displayed via Dig Assist is properly calibrated, it is said to be accurate to within 3/4 inch (2 cm). It provides up to four views of the machine simultaneously, including side, front, top, and 3D views. Volvo Smart View, the operator is acutely aware of the machine’s position in relation to the job at all times — ensuring excellent work quality and safety.


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Volvo says the Co-Pilot is designed to be easily scalable as future software updates, additional functionality, and new applications are developed. The system is 3G-compatible when equipped with a SIM card, allowing for the system to automatically and wirelessly receive software updates. Co-Pilot also serves as the interface for several already-launched applications, including Load Assist and Volvo’s Intelligent Compaction system,

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