Volvo make crash avoidance system
Volvo has developed a system where the car will brake by itself if it realises that the driver will not stop in time to avoid hitting the car in front. Interesting system, but it is scary to think what tailgaters will use something like this for.
Volvo Cars unveils a unique system that can help the car driver avoid the sort of low-speed collisions that are so common in urban traffic and in slow-moving traffic queues. If the driver is about to drive into the vehicle in front and does not react in time, the car brakes itself. The system is called City Safety and it is Volvo Car Corporation’s ambition to apply the technology to prevent half of all rear-end collisions. Volvo is also showing three other smart systems that will help to avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians.
City Safety was exhibited for the first time in the XC60 Concept car in Detroit in the beginning of 2007. Volvo Car Corporation plans to introduce the system on the market within the next two years.
If the vehicle in front brakes suddenly and City Safety calculates that a collision is likely, the system will prepare the car’s brakes to help the driver to avoid an accident by braking more effectively or taking evasive action. If the system senses that the driver needs additional help, the car will brake automatically through hydraulic pump activation.
Know-how saves lives. The Volvo Cars accident research team has therefore investigated more than 36,000 accidents over a period covering 35 years. Recently, Volvo Cars has also developed a research model and methodology for predicting the chain of events before and during a collision. The method helps to evaluate the effectiveness of new preventive safety systems such as Collision Warning with Auto Brake and City Safety.
The method is an extension of the traditional traffic accident research which has focused on the actual collision and its consequences. Volvo Cars has now extended the research and made it possible to go back in time from the crash and study the chain of events that led to the accident.
According to statistics, 75 per cent of all reported collisions occur at speeds up to 30 kph. Furthermore, the consequences of minor collisions are often so limited that they are not reported to insurance companies. However, even the smallest impact costs time and money to rectify. City Safety is active at speeds up to 30 kph. If the relative speed difference between the vehicles is slower than 15 kph, the system can help the driver to avoid a collision completely. Between 15 kph and 30 kph the objective is to reduce the speed as much as possible before a collision occurs.