Volvo says their new EX90 electric SUV is the safest car they’ve ever built, thanks in part to the Safety Shield. Lidar; optical; ultrasonic, and radar sensors provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle to proactively cope with other vehicles and pedestrians, even if the driver doesn’t immediately notice them. The EX90’s lidar sensors can reportedly spot pedestrians up to 250 meters away. Volvo says the system could reduce the rate of all accidents by 9 per cent, and cut accidents resulting in serious injury or death by as much as 20 per cent.
Volvo president Jim Rowan says, “No matter how much experience you have or how much competence you have, at the end of the day, we are all still human. We want to help people become better drivers by being there when they’re not at their very best”.
For occupant protection and drivers monitoring, the EX90 has an in-cabin lidar—a world-first, designed to detect the presence of occupants and alert the driver if anyone is left behind in an effort to prevent hot-car deaths; Volvo notes that more than 900 kids have died in these circumstances in the US since 1998. Where allowed by regulation, the system will prevent the keyfob from locking the doors should a child or pet be detected inside.
The system also keeps an eye on occupants while the vehicle is in motion. The interior system can determine a driver’s attentiveness based on their gaze. Volvo says this allows the car to detect when a driver is distracted, drowsy or otherwise inattentive, “beyond what has been possible in a Volvo car to date”. Should the system catch the driver lacking, it will issue increasingly urgent alerts until it becomes clear that they are incapacitated, then the EX90 will automatically pull itself over and call for help.