by Zach Maskell
Since day one the Volvo brand has stressed safety as their number one priority. Early on they used laminated glass, and developed rear-facing child seats. While other companies have also embraced innovative occupant protection, Volvo isn’t ready to concede their “safety first” image. So, our over the edge reporter Zach Maskell headed to Sweden to see what Volvo has in mind for our driving future.
ZACH MASKELL: Did you know there’s a little bit of Volvo in every car? Let’s take it back to 1959… when they introduced the 3-point seatbelt we still use every day. It reduces the risk of death by almost 50-percent and good guy Volvo allowed an open patent… for all automakers to use.
Now they have a very ambitious goal. Volvo wants no serious injuries or deaths in their vehicles… by 20-20.
THOMAS BROBERG: Yes that may seem as a bold statement but it’s really a matter of aptitude. Because it really means that we do not accept, we do not accept the fact that you risk your life and limb just by transporting yourself.
ZACH MASKELL: They’ll do that by avoiding the accident. Or making it less severe. Advanced safety technology is popping up in every car. It gives the driver more time to react… or reacts for them.
In many cartoons the moose is normally the funny character. But if you encounter one in real life it’s not so funny. So to keep this guy from winding up in your lap, Volvo is using radar technology, along with cameras to keep you safe.
Thousands of moose alone are hit by vehicles every year in Sweden. Seeing how Animal detection works made me feel like I was in a fighter jet. Instead of shooting missiles… The car automatically brakes… day and night… if an impact is imminent.
A driver becomes distracted and starts to veer off course. With Road edge and barrier detection… the steering forces you back on track. Not the easiest thing to trust… but worked as expected.
Well my favorite part of the day was definitely when I got to drive the car that has adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and steer assist. I’m literally doing nothing right now… following this car that’s in front of me.
Love it or hate it… driver-less cars are coming. Now of course here at MotorWeek we would never recommend you do any of these types of things – but since we are on a closed course right now, I’ll just check out this manual. Going around an s-bend I can even take out and put in my contacts… if I really wanted to.
We moved from Stora Holms training facility… to an underground bunker that used to store military planes. A dark place was needed to demonstrate pedestrian detection. Head towards the mannequin… don’t touch the brakes. It automatically does it for you. There’s plenty more to come… further down the line.
One of the biggest pains when driving is trying to find a parking spot… especially when you live in a city. Well thanks to some Volvo technology you soon may be leaving a tip jar in your own car. All that you need is a smart phone – and your finger.
The car goes in search of an open spot… all while avoiding any pedestrians and other cars. When you’re ready to roll… give your car the signal and it will pick you up. She looks so sad.. all alone. But no worries… she’s probably be talking her car buddies.
PER LANDFORS: CAR 2 CAR communication can be made in several different ways. You can use automotive Wi-Fi…. The cars communicate with each other… or you can use 3g network… or mobile network and the cars communicate to a database.”
ZACH MASKELL: Car2Car shows the best speed to travel to avoid red lights. If a vehicle is broken down or there’s hard braking ahead… an alert is given. Among other warnings it shows updates on approaching weather… or emergency vehicles coming in hot. Ready or not… cars are getting bigger brains than ever before.