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Volvo driver aids

Broadcast 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 journey.
Lane 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 seductive-and-sultry.

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?

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