Volvo is first to offer car drivers a high-tech solution to help avoid the risk of accidents caused by blind spots with its new safety system - BLIS (Blind Spot Information System).

Volvo's latest safety innovation uses an intelligent digital camera system incorporated into both door mirrors that constantly monitors the area alongside the car for cars or motorbikes, then alerts the driver via an orange light housed in the car's A-pillar by the door mirror. BLIS also works after dark, when it will react to the headlamps of any surrounding vehicles.

As Britain's roads get ever busier, Volvo believes the additional visual information BLIS relays to the driver before changing lanes or overtaking in busy urban environments or on multi-lane highways, will prove particularly useful.

The BLIS system does not relieve the driver of his or her obligation and responsibility to do the usual visual checks before attempting any manoeuvring, but does afford frequent motorway users or city drivers an added level of protection against vehicles hovering in the periphery of the driver’s field of vision.

While a dash mounted button can be used to temporarily switch the safety aid off, if required, BLIS is capable of making the distinction between mobile and immobile objects such as parked cars, road barriers, lampposts and other static objects, ensuring all alerts are limited to potentially hazardous moving obstacles.

"Preventing accidents and reducing the number of injuries and fatalities in traffic are both high on the agenda of an increasing number of countries. We see everything from so-called zero-limits in Sweden and the Netherlands to national goals of between 30 and 50 per cent fewer accidents over the coming 10 year period. As a leading company in the field of car safety, Volvo must naturally play an active part in working toward these goals," says Ingrid Skogsmo, Director Volvo Cars Safety.

Volvo first demonstrated a BLIS system on its Safety Concept Car in 2001, and BLIS is one of many safety innovations shown on that car that have become a reality on today's Volvo range. BLIS is already available as an option on the XC90¹ and is expected to be introduced to the rest of the Volvo range next year.

Published : 31/10/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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