Volvo makes the new XC90 a "safety car"

July 15, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In motorsport, a safety car is a special vehicle that limits the speed of the competing vehicles on the racetrack. Swedish carmaker Volvo attaches a different significance to the safety car with its all-new XC90, due to appear on the market in 2014: The XC90 will be all full of innovative safety features.

The carmaker announced to bring to market the XC90 as the first Volvo with autonomous steering to avoid accidents. This feature will make driving more comfortable, but in the first place it will help to avoid accidents, said Volvo Senior Safety Advisor Thomas Broberg.

But autonomous steering is only one functionality in a bigger picture. The technologies utilize this function are:

  1. Pedestrian Detection in darkness. A world first that makes the detection and auto brake technology work effectively also when driving in darkness. The technology includes detection and auto brake for other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The vehicle's electronic systems even detect and identify large animals.
  2. Road edge and barrier detection with steer assist. A feature that detects if the car is about to drive off the road and autonomously applies steering torque to bring the vehicle back on track. Being able to monitor where the physical road ends is a world first. This means that the technology also works on roads without side markings.
  3. Adaptive Cruise Control with steer assist. A technology that helps the driver stay in the lane and follow the rhythm of the traffic. The new system automatically follows the vehicle ahead. In this case, Volvo does not claim to have a worlds-first function; actually Daimler has this already in its new S-class luxury sedan.

But Collision mitigation for animals is another world first that detects and automatically brakes for animals both in daylight and in the dark. The technology, which is designed to help the driver avoid accidents or reduce the speed of impact, will be introduced some time after the XC90 arrives by the end of 2014.

At a media event in the near future, Volvo also plans to demonstrate other features that are part of the continuous aim to bring the number of people killed and seriously injured in new Volvo cars down to zero by 2020.

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