High-Tech Safety System
Safety is always priority number one with automakers. And, the newest vehicles are better than ever at crash protection. But, advanced technology now aims to prevent accidents from happening altogether.
A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that one kind of collision avoidance system is already cutting down on low-speed, front-to-rear accidents. It’s Volvo’s innovative City Safety System --which comes standard on the XC60. The report shows the XC60 with City Safety is involved in significantly fewer property and personal injury claims than its competitors. City Safety is a low-speed collision avoidance system that uses an infrared laser, built into the windshield, that constantly monitors objects up to about 18 feet in front of the car.
At stop-and-go traffic speeds under 9 miles an hour, City Safety will automatically apply the brakes if traffic ahead suddenly stops--avoiding a front -to- rear collision completely. At speeds up to 19 miles per hour, City Safety will partially apply the brakes, slowing the car, and thus reducing the severity of the collision.
Details of the study show that the XC60 was involved in 27 percent fewer property damage claims, and 51 percent fewer bodily injury claims than other mid-sized luxury SUVs.
City Safety is also standard on the Volvo S60, S80, and XC70. Volvo also offers Pedestrian Detection System that will automatically stop the car when its radar and camera sensors detect an object in the vehicle’s path. While other brands offer radar-based cruise control systems with automatic braking, Volvo’s City Safety is unique due to its focus on low-speed accidents.
The study contends that low-speed crash avoidance systems could prevent or mitigate 1.9 million collisions a year. That number has surely gotten the attention of government safety regulators, who are looking at City Safety to see if something similar might be a future requirement on all cars.
And it’s quite possible that this technology could be a cost savings to consumers—especially if insurers consider discounts for cars equipped with such low speed collision avoidance systems.