• Volvo’s Accident Avoidance System
  • August 14, 2017
  • Car manufacturers around the world are continuing to make advances in technology that make cars safer than ever, and Volvo is no exception. For years, Volvo has had some of the highest safety ratings, thanks to the Swedish automaker’s commitment to providing innovative safety features that help drivers avoid potentially dangerous accidents. Recently, Volvo has begun to equip cars with radar sensors and cameras in an effort to warn drivers of hazards that the driver may not see. The cars will also have the capability to slow down automatically to avoid a wreck.

    According to Jim Nichols, product and technology communications manager for Volvo Car USA, over 35,000 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2015. “As car manufacturers, it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to prevent accidents from happening in the future,” said Nichols. After 40 years of researching the causes and outcomes of car accidents, Volvo’s accident investigative teams found that certain patterns in injuries and fatalities began to emerge. As a result, they developed “city safety” technologies which included systems that helped the driver avoid collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists. For drivers who live in more rural areas, Volvo also developed technology that can detect deer, moose, and other large animals that might be crossing the road.

    How the Technology Works

    Nichols explained that the radar system in the Volvo can detect a potentially hazardous object, which activates the camera to take a picture. The vehicle’s detection system compares that picture to the photos in the database and determines whether the object is a threat to the driver. If it is, there will be a warning sound and red lights will illuminate the windshield, warning the driver of an imminent hazard. If a wreck appears unavoidable, the vehicle’s safety system will cause the seat belts to tighten and the brakes to automatically engage.

    According to Malin Ekholm, Vice President of Volvo Cars, Safety Center, the accident avoidance system will apply an initial pre-brake and maximum brake pressure when needed. This allows the driver to maintain control of the vehicle for as long as possible. For example, if a driver wants to avoid rear-ending another vehicle by swerving out of its way, the car will utilize the brakes in a way that increases momentum in order to avoid the car in front.

    Nichols also explained that a Volvo’s detection system can give false alerts for stationary objects like mailboxes. It is possible for the driver to override the system at any time. However, this is not recommended as the system is there to keep drivers safe. In fact, Volvo’s collision systems are responsible for a 40 percent reduction in injuries resulting from car accidents.

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