As a federal ban on commercial drivers' use of hand-held mobile devices while driving takes effect the first of the year, Volvo Trucks in North America will now offer its Bluetooth-equipped radio as standard equipment on all VN and VHD models.

Volvo's standard Bluetooth radio package includes a radio unit, a highly sensitive microphone mounted in the overhead console, and full audio delivered through the truck's speaker system. The integrated design allows drivers to view incoming and outgoing call information on the vehicle's Driver Information Display.

"While the Bluetooth system utilizes the highly visible Driver Information Display, our unique integrated system prioritizes critical driver messages, like active safety alerts or vehicle operational warnings," said Frank Bio, Volvo Trucks product manager - trucks. "The information hierarchy we've developed and integrated into our trucks means phone calls will not impede drivers from receiving the vital information they need about their vehicle or driving conditions. The system extends the phone's features, such as answering the phone by pushing one button, as required in the regulation."

In addition to the Bluetooth mobile phone system, the radio features AM, FM, CD and MP3 capabilities, accessible through an auxiliary and USB connector installed in a dash switch location.