If there’s one attribute Swedish premium automaker Volvo is known for, it’s safety. Throughout the history of the company, Volvo has prided itself on making cars
that exceed safety regulations, also a key marketing component for the automaker. Now, Volvo has announced three new technologies it is developing to take road safety to a new level: Automatic braking, automatic steering, and car-to-car communication.
– Volvo’s Collision Warning with Auto Brake — recently introduced in the Volvo S80 and V70, already issues visual and audible warnings, begins to apply the brakes, and increases brake hydraulic pressure when sensing an likely collision with another vehicle But Volvo is developing the technology one step further by detecting people with wide-angle radar technology that allows the vehicle to “see” people. The process will work much the same as the system already in place, with an initial audio and visual warning when a pedestrian is detected in the path of the vehicle, with automatic braking activated when a collision becomes imminent.
– Another technology being developed further is Volvo’s Lane Departure Warning system. The system currently in use delivers an audible warning when the vehicle moves across lane markers without using turn indicators. In future applications, Volvo would like to integrate Collision Avoidance by Auto Steering – a feature that uses cameras and radar to self-navigate a vehicle back into its original lane if it wanders into the path of oncoming traffic. Testing is still underway on this system to gauge proper amounts of steering input and at what speeds the system can be used.
– Volvo is also looking to develop car-to-car communication that can alert drivers to upcoming obstacles or dangers before they are able to be seen. The technology could prove vital to reducing traffic accidents in the future, asserts the automaker, though Volvo says that for the system to work, a standard language would need to be developed for all automakers to use, allowing communication between vehicles regardless of make or model.