Volvo's Pedestrian Detection Technology Wins Car Safety Award

Volvo S60

Volvo S60

Volvo's pioneering Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake technology has been named winner of the Car Safety category at the annual BusinessCar Techies awards. This world-first technology can detect pedestrians in front of the car, warn if anyone walks out into its path and then automatically activate the car's full braking power if the driver fails to respond in time.

Paul Barker, Editor of BusinessCar, said: "Volvo's continuing commitment to pioneering safety developments is unsurpassed in the motoring industry, and a key reason for its second consecutive BusinessCar Techies victory. The Pedestrian Detection system takes vehicle safety into an area no other manufacturers are seriously addressing, and comes on the back of other industry leading innovations such as City Safety which show Volvo's reputation for safety excellence is well founded."

Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake consists of a newly developed radar unit integrated into the car's grille, a camera fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror, and a central control unit. The radar's task is to detect any object in front of the car and to determine the distance to it, while the camera's job is to determine what type of object it is. The system can detect pedestrians who are over 80 cm tall, including children.

In an emergency situation, the driver initially receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen's head-up display - resembling a brake light. At the same time, the car's brakes are pre-charged. If the driver does not react to the warning and an accident is deemed as imminent, full braking power is automatically applied to bring the car to a stop.

Half of all pedestrian accidents occur at speeds below 15 mph. This technology can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds up to 21 mph if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the focus is on reducing the car's speed as much as possible prior to the impact.

A lower speed of impact means that the risk of serious injury is significantly reduced. For instance, if speed is cut from 31 mph to 15 mph, Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is expected to reduce the fatality risk as much as 20 per cent and, in some cases, up to 85 per cent.

Pedestrian Detection is available as part of the Driver Support Pack on the all-new Volvo S60. The Driver Support Pack combines Pedestrian Detection, ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) with Distance Alert, Queue Assist, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and LDW (Lane Departure Warning) with DAC (Driver Alert Control) and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) for £1,450 on the ES trim level and £1,250 on SE and SE Lux.

Published 24 August 2010 Staff

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