Rear-end collisions account for a significant proportion of road accidents.
The braking system, which is available on the new Volvo FH Series, has been developed to support the driver so that the majority of these rear-end collisions can be avoided or mitigated.
Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director, Volvo Trucks, said: "We began by asking, 'What really is the problem?'. The answer is inattention. If you watched the traffic ahead of you the whole time, you wouldn't need systems like these."
The new system combines a radar and a camera that work together to identify and monitor vehicles in front.
The system is designed to deal with both stationary and moving vehicles and can prevent a collision with a moving target at relative speeds of up to 70km/h (50mph).
When the system detects a vehicle that the truck will hit at its current speed, the warning system activates a constant red light in the windscreen in order to bring the driver's attention back to the road.
"We don't want to take over from drivers because we believe they are in the best position to respond, as they might be able to safely drive around the vehicle," said Almqvist.
However, if the truck fails to detect any reaction from the driver, such as steering or braking, the system upgrades to a flashing red light and a beeping sound. If there is still no reaction, the system applies the brakes gently.
When all this fails, the system activates the emergency braking system and does everything possible to bring the truck to a complete stop.
"In the vast majority of cases, the initial warning signals will attract the driver's attention. And in the rare case that they don't, the emergency braking system will still help prevent a serious accident," added Almqvist.
In Europe, emergency braking systems will be a legal requirement in new trucks by November 2015.