Move over, Kia Soul hamsters. Volvo Trucks is debuting a new system called Volvo Dynamic Steering and, to demonstrate its capabilities, the Swedish automaker staged an incredible stunt in which a furry little hamster helped drive a Volvo FMX truck up a curvy mountain road.
Little does Charlie the hamster know what he’s about to do, as he’s placed into a special hamster cage that’s built on top of the steering wheel. A “precision driver” serves as Charlie’s set of eyes, as he guides his furry friend to the left or to the right with a carrot. As soon as the truck is put into drive, it appears as though it’s headed straight for a crowd, but Charlie runs to the left after the carrot, steering the truck back on the right path up the mountain road. The crowd watches in anticipation as there are a couple of other close calls, with the truck coming very close to the edge of the mountain, even hitting a huge rock that falls hundreds of feet below into the water.
Everyone watches in anticipation as Charlie continues to unknowingly maneuver the big truck through tight curves. But how is this even possible? Volvo Dynamic Steering uses an electric motor that essentially replaces muscle power, making it possible for the 6-ounce hamster to steer the truck. The system’s engineer says that at low speeds, a vehicle equipped with the system can be maneuvered with just a finger.
So will Charlie make it to the top? Watch the video below to find out!