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Volvo conducts ‘real-life’ testing of new safety technology in Copenhagen

October 13, 2009

Volvo conducts ‘real-life’ testing of new safety technology in Copenhagen

Volvo Cars has been testing a heavily disguised prototype of their new
S60 sedan model on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark, in order to
assess its new Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian
Detection system, which will be introduced as a feature of the all-new
S60 in 2010. 

As already detailed on http://www.traffictechnologytoday.com, to avoid an
accident the new system can detect a pedestrian in front of the car and
brake automatically if the driver doesn’t react in time. Volvo’s safety
experts have been working with Pedestrian Detection technology for 10
years and cars have been tested all over the world in ‘real-life’
situations.

The new system consists of a new dual-mode radar unit integrated into
the car’s grille, a camera behind the inside rear-view mirror and a
central control unit. The radar and camera continuously monitor the road
in front of the car, while the radar’s task is to detect objects and
measure the distance to them. The camera determines what type of objects
they are. In an emergency situation, the driver is first alerted by an
audible warning, as well as a flashing light in the windshield’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. If the driver
does not respond to the warning and the system assesses that a collision
is imminent, the car’s brakes are applied with full braking power.

“Factors such as traffic behavior, road conditions and climate must be
taken into account in the design of the final system,” says Thomas
Broberg, senior safety advisor at Volvo Cars. “All told, we have
collected more than 500,000km of real-life data. We can also use the
information from these traffic tests to conduct advanced computer
simulations. The previous stages were developed to help the driver avoid
collisions with other vehicles. Now we are taking a giant step forward
with a function that also boosts safety for unprotected road-users. What
is more, we are advancing from 50% to full automatic braking power. To
the best of our knowledge, none of our competitors have made such
progress in this area. This technology helps us take an important step
towards our long-term vision of designing cars that do not crash,” he
adds.

13 October 2009

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