Volvo to develop sensor technology to make cars intelligent
25 July 2008

Volvo is launching an ambitious project to stop its cars from having any crashes at all by 2020. The Swedish company says it is developing hi-tech solutions for a “collision-free future”. The new technology uses sensors and communication devices to provide cars with ‘intelligence’.

This technology includes systems that monitor drowsiness and intervene, or warn the driver when he or she is driving too close to the car in front.

Volvo already has low-speed automatic braking systems, which will be available on the forthcoming XC60 SUV. But it intends to develop these further, introducing auto brakes that are triggered by pedestrians and even automatic steering to dodge oncoming cars.

“We don’t accept that people lose their lives in aeroplane accidents, so why should we regard car accidents as inevitable?” says Jan Ivarsson, Volvo’s head of safety strategy.

The firm wants governments to introduce new infrastructure, using GPS technology to provide advanced warning of road hazards. For example, it would allow two cars to communicate, alerting each other to a slippery road. A warning would be passed on as soon as one car’s ABS or ESP was triggered.

“In [developing] this aim we invite fruitful co-operation with authorities and the automotive industry,” says Ivarsson.

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