The Volvo S60 Concept also presents a safety innovation that can detect a pedestrian who steps out into the path of the car and the car's full braking power is automatically activated if the driver does not respond to the danger. The technology, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and pedestrian detection, will be introduced in the all-new Volvo S60.
"Up until now, we have focused on helping the driver avoid collisions with other vehicles. Now we are taking a giant step forward with a system that also boosts safety for unprotected road-users. New sensor technology also makes it possible to advance from 50 per cent to full automatic braking power. To our knowledge, none of our competitors has made such progress in this area," explains Thomas Broberg, safety expert at Volvo Cars.
Avoids Collisions at Speeds Below 12mph
The car's speed has a significant effect on the result of a collision with a pedestrian. If speed drops from 31mph to 18mph, the chance of a pedestrian's survival increases.
"Our aim is that this new technology should help the driver avoid collisions with pedestrians at speeds below 12mph. If the car is being driven faster, the aim is to reduce the impact speed as much as possible. In most cases, we can reduce the collision force by about 75 per cent," says Thomas Broberg.
This technology is also highly beneficial in the event of rear-end impacts with other vehicles. Studies indicate that half of all drivers who drive into another vehicle from behind do not brake prior to the collision. In such cases, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake can help entirely avoid a collision if the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 15mph.
Visual Warning on Head-Up Display
In an emergency situation, the driver first gets an audible warning together with a flashing light in the windscreen's head-up display. In order to prompt an immediate, intuitive reaction, the visual warning is designed to look like a brake light coming on in front. If the driver does not respond to the warning and the system assesses that a collision is imminent, the car's full braking power is activated automatically.
The main aim is still for the initial warning to be sufficient for the driver to brake or manoeuvre away from the hazard. Full automatic braking is an emergency measure that is only activated when the collision is imminent.
Upgraded Adaptive Cruise Control
Volvo Cars' Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) has now been upgraded with a queue assist function. The radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control maintains the set time gap to the vehicle in front all the way down to standstill, making this comfort-enhancing system usable in slow-moving queues with repeated starting and stopping.Published 16 December 2008