dates : 29th May 2005
4th June 2005
The Blind Spot Information System
uses a camera on each wing mirror to warn the driver of a
following vehicle entering a blind spot.
A warning light and buzzer alerts the driver when an overtaking
vehicle is ten metres away and also detects motorcycles.
Importantly, it also operates in darkness.
The SCC vehicle was also fitted with Adaptive Cruise control,
with similar systems now offered on some premium-level
production cars from various manufacturers. The system can be
programmed to maintain a time gap of between one and three
seconds, irrespective of speed.
Radar measures the distance to the vehicle ahead and speed is
controlled via the carís electronic management system. ACC can
adjust the speed right down to zero. By double-clicking on the
control, the driver can overtake the obstacle and continue the
Departure Warning is another innovative safety device that
Volvo developed for the SCC. A camera identifies the carís
position in relation to lane markings and warns the driver
when the car wanders out of its lane. Handy for long
trips, when driver fatigue is a real factor. The system
can be disabled, and only comes into operation above
seventy kp/h, to prevent the warning buzzer driving
everyone crazy in city driving.
A very important variation on this
theme is the Emergency Lane Assist.
Used in single-lane two-way traffic situations, if the car
strays into the on-coming lane, with a vehicle approaching,
extra force is applied to the steering wheel to quickly get
things back on track.
A camera and radar combination system is used to detect the
on-coming vehicles. A variation of the now-common Brake Assist
uses radar to detect a hazard ahead. The system first warns the
driver of the approaching hazard, such as a stationary truck
with no taillights. If the driver does not react, the system
automatically applies full-braking power. If no avoidance is
taken by the driver, the system may still not be able to prevent
a collision, but it will reduce the consequences.
And just in case you donít have a mother-in-law installed in
the rear seat, the Volvo Co-Driver is there to point out your
piloting shortcomings. This system assembles information about
the traffic environment, the car, and yes, you the driver. It
draws conclusions about all this data to enable a safer passage.
If a driver fails to notice a traffic light turning yellow, the
synthesized co-driver voice issues a warning. A variation on
Park Assist also employs a rear-facing camera to pick out people
and objects approaching the carís rear Ė handy for those
hasty shopping mall evacuations. The Co-Driver also tells you
when your washer fluid level is low and provides navigation to
the nearest filling station.
Now we get to the part that will make the dear-old
back-seat-driver feel totally redundant. Yes, the Volvo
co-driver monitors driver
behaviour! It detects
whether the driver Ė thatís you Ė is
behaving erratically, and needs, well, a break. Thanks to
the incorporated Satellite Navigation system, Co-Driver
guides you to the nearest rest area. An amazing system and
likely to be improved upon.
An un-named Volvo source hinted that the next generation
of Volvo Co-driver will also take your star sign into
account when issuing instructions, and offer a choice of
voice tones ranging from barrack sergeant to
Quite something, these Volvo safety cars. And in its
latest 3CC guise, a visual knockout
Could this be the prototype for the socially-responsible
sequel to 2Fast, 2Furious?
Volvo design innovations
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