Volvo Declares War on Auto Accidents
Volvo has declared war on the fatal auto accident. The safety minded company has announced that by 2010 no one should be killed in a Volvo. "We don’t accept that people lose their lives in airplane accidents, so why should we regard car accidents as inevitable?" says Jan Ivarsson, head of Safety Strategy at the Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo’s cars already work well to help a driver survive an accident, and now the focus is shifting more toward avoiding any accident. Systems in development to help aid this lofty goal include:
- An alarm to awaken drowsy drivers.
- Automatically braking for pedestrians in the road
- A network that talks to cars about road conditions
- Automatically steering away from oncoming cars
Volvo sees auto safety in five phases:
- Phase 1: Normal driving - Driver kept informed on driving status and driver concentration.
- Phase 2: Conflict - Driver involved in a potentially hazardous situation, but able to cope with it.
- Phase 3: Avoidance - Driver less capable of coping with the situation.
- Phase 4: Damage reduction - Driver and car not capable of avoiding collision. Preparation for collision, reduction of crash forces.
- Phase 5: After collision - Driver offered assistance and rescue.
According to Volvo, all five phases follow the principle that the driver is in command, and that any system developed should be in support of the driver. The new technology is designed to join other accident avoidance systems that Volvo already offers. This includes a warning when another motorist is in the driver’s blind spot, automatic braking at low speeds, and a warning when the driver is too close to the rear of another car.