Correct us if we’re wrong, but aren’t Volvos supposed to be considered one of the safest cars on the road?

It sure doesn’t seem like it these days after the Swedish car brand had another embarrassing episode while having another safety demonstration in front of Australian journalists in Europe. Before you start asking what on earth Aussie journalists are doing in Europe, that’s not really the point here.

The point is that a car brand noted for its outstanding safety features has once again been cast into the spotlight for another incident that pretty much undermines what we’ve known from Volvo over the years. Even worse, this isn’t the first time it happened. Back in May, the Volvo was testing out the new S60 and its intelligent emergency brakes when, during another demonstration in front of the media, inexplicably lost its brakes and ended up crashing into the back of a stationary truck.

Continued - with more videos - after the jump

This time, Volvo was demonstrating its new pedestrian avoidance technology that is meant to detect the presence of pedestrians on the road and controls the stability and brake control systems to avoid hitting pedestrians. Except that in a test done 12 times, Volvo’s system failed to work, causing the car to plow straight into the dummy.

In true PR-spinning action, Volvo blamed the failed tests on the dummy not being set up properly, causing the system to not recognize it’s poor presence as it was headed straight for it.

We’ve been around long enough to know when someone’s trying to spin a negative situation into a positive one and this, dear friends, is on page one of the Spinner’s Handbook.

But hey, you gotta give some credit to that dummy too. In one of the videos, it managed to jump right back up after getting creamed by the Volvo. Who says that dummies are as fragile as ceramic tiles?

Source: Drive

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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  (313) posted on 10.28.2010


  (442) posted on 10.4.2010

On another note, I wonder if the camera is smart enough to identify the shape of a morbidly obese person, since it’s supposed to identify people based on their basic shape. Worse yet, if it doesn’t identify a person in a wheelchair then it won’t bother braking at all.

  (23) posted on 10.4.2010

Would you say that it would hit a person as well, if it stud without moving?

  (666) posted on 10.3.2010

It seems to me the system has failed to pick up the test dummy because there is no
movement that mimics an actual human being. Perhaps the system would be more successful if it had some sort of motion detector or anything that could detect pedestrian presence.

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