Photo (cc) by Naveg
No one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
At least, that’s the Sweden-based auto company’s vision as proclaimed on Volvo’s IntelliSafe technologies website.
Lex Kerssemakers, chief executive of Volvo Cars of North America, adds to CNN Money:
“If you meet Swedish engineers, they’re pretty genuine. They don’t say things when they don’t believe in it.”
Volvo already tracks how many people die in its vehicles, CNN reports. This helps the company evaluate and predict the added safety benefit of new crash-prevention technologies.
The IntelliSafe technologies that Volvo says will “support you while driving, helping to prevent accidents and protecting you if one occurs,” include:
- Adaptive Cruise Control, which automatically maintains a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. At speeds below 50 km/h (about 31 mph), Pilot Assist technology works alongside this with gentle steering inputs that help drivers stay in their lanes.
- 360° Surround View, which provides a bird’s-eye view of a car and its surroundings so the driver can see obstacles all around.
- Driver Alert Control, which will alert a driver and prompt the driver to take a break if he or she gets drowsy or inattentive at the wheel. The Rest Stop Guidance function can even tell the driver where it’s safe to stop.
- Blind Spot Information System, which uses radar sensors to alert a driver to traffic around the vehicle.
Erik Coelingh, a Volvo safety engineer, tells CNN:
“With the development of full autonomy we are going to push the limits of automotive safety, because if you make a fully autonomous vehicle you have to think through everything that potentially can happen with a car.”
Volvo is not the only manufacturer determined to make cars safer, however.
The latest driver death rate statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, released last January, show that the chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than one-third in three years. And among 2011 models, a record nine vehicles had driver death rates of zero.
Those nine vehicles included one Volvo, the XC90, which was also just named one of two North American Vehicles of the Year.
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