Volvo Cars have been constantly striving to curb fatalities in its cars by introducing new safety features and delivering good quality products. Apart from speeding, intoxication and distraction have been two other primary areas of concern for traffic safety. Together, these three areas constitute to the main ‘gaps’ towards Volvo Cars’ vision of a future with zero traffic fatalities.
Volvo Cars plan to address the issues of intoxication and distraction by installing in-car cameras and other sensors. The system will monitor the driver and allow the car to intervene if a clearly intoxicated or distracted driver does not respond to warning signals and is risking an accident involving serious injury or death. The intervention could be in the form of limiting the car’s speed, alerting the Volvo On Call assistance service and, as a final course of action, actively slowing down and safely parking the car. The cameras will be introduced on the new cars based on the next generation scalable SPA2 vehicle platform that will be introduced in early 2020.
The driver-monitoring system will detect and react in situations involving complete lack of steering input for extended periods of time, or drivers detected with eyes closed or off the road for an extended time period. The system also detects extreme weaving across lanes or excessively slow reaction times. Details on the exact number of cameras and their positioning will be known over the next few months.
Speaking on the occasion, Henrik Green, Senior Vice President, Research and Development at Volvo Cars, said, “When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable. In this case, cameras will monitor for behaviour that may lead to serious injury or death.”
Apart from in-car cameras, Volvo plans to limit the top speed across its cars to 180kmph, by 2021. The company has also revealed the Care Key feature, which allows Volvo drivers to impose limitations on the car’s top speed on all cars from model year 2021, before lending their car to family members or friends.