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New Volvo System Spots Pedestrians, Cyclists, Make Emergency Stops

Maker working on next-gen model capable of spotting animals.

by on Mar.07, 2013

Volvo's system uses a combination of radar and vision sensors to spot obstacles.

Volvo is launching a new safety system capable of spotting not only pedestrians but even bicyclists weaving in and out of traffic.

The latest update of the maker’s well-regarded City Safety technology, the system is designed to sound an alert if it spots a potential collision. But it’s also capable of bringing the vehicle to an abrupt halt, if necessary, should the driver be distracted or not respond in time.

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The initial version of City Safety, first launched in 2010, was designed to look for other cars, but Volvo has taken advantages of advances in vision processing, data crunching and software to continually update the system, which uses both a camera hidden on the windshield side of the rearview mirror and a radar sensor in the vehicle’s grille.

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Pedestrian Deaths Up – Experts Want Answers, Solutions

New regulations may follow.

by on Aug.07, 2012

Volvo's auto braking system can detect pedestrians in the road and bring the car to a quick stop.

After years of steady decline there are some disturbing signs that the downward trend in traffic fatalities may be over.  With reports already suggesting vehicle deaths were up for the first part of the year, a new study shows a sharp, 4% increase in pedestrian fatalities, as well.

The upturn in pedestrian deaths came in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, but it marks the first increase since 2005 – a point at which all motor vehicle-related fatalities began to tumble sharply.

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A total of 4,280 pedestrians were killed in vehicle-related incidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, another 70,000 injured. In 2010, pedestrian deaths accounted for 13% of all traffic fatalities.  That compared with 11% between 2002 and 2007.  That reflects both the increase in pedestrian crashes as well as the decline in overall motor vehicle fatalities.

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Volvo Offering World’s First Pedestrian Airbag

Safety systems also can brake for foot traffic.

by on Mar.08, 2012

Volvo introduces the world's first pedestrian airbag system on the new V40.

By even the most conservative estimates airbags have saved thousands of lives since the auto industry began phasing them into widespread use two decades ago.  And now, Volvo is betting it can also save pedestrian lives with the world’s first external airbag.

The new system is one of the many high-tech safety features being introduced on the Swedish maker’s new V40 wagon, which is itself making its world debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.

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The 5-door features – as one might expect of Volvo – a wide range of advanced safety technology, and along with the new airbag system the V40 has Volvo’s Pedestrian Detection technology designed to prevent a collision in the first place.

The V40 itself is based on an all-new architecture that is intended to serve as the platform for a wide variety of upcoming Volvo products, including replacements for the current C30 coupe, S40 sedan and even the bigger V50 wagon.

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Volvo System Could Curb Road Kill

Next-generation City Safety system may prove kind to animals.

by on Oct.06, 2011

Volvo's City Safety can bring a car to a complete halt to avoid an accident. A variation may be able to spot animals on the road and avoid collisions.

It’s an unpleasant reality on the highway, but the folks at Volvo think they may have a way to cut back on the seemingly ever-present road kill using some of the same high-tech systems that the maker is using to curb inadvertent pedestrian collisions on city streets.

The new animal-friendly system is one way the now Chinese-owned Volvo hopes to build on its traditional reputation as an automotive safety leader.

Volvo has already won kudos for its latest active safety technologies, such as City Safety, which uses an infrared laser sensor attached to the windshield to monitor traffic in front of a vehicle.  At speeds ranging from 2 to 19 mph – typical on crowded urban and in rush hour traffic – the system will detect a potential collision.  If the driver doesn’t react by the time the two cars are 18 feet apart, it will automatically jam on the brakes.

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Another version of the system can detect pedestrians and can take steps to avoid an impact.  Such collisions make up a significant share of the roughly 35,000 Americans killed in roadway accidents each year.

Volvo engineers then began wondering about animals, who are killed in substantially larger numbers as the result of vehicle impacts each year.  And groups like PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, aren’t the only ones bothered by that toll.

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Auto-Braking Systems Sharply Reduce Accidents

Volvo City Safety eliminating 25% of rear-end collisions.

by on Jul.19, 2011

Volvo's City Safety system has been updated to help prevent pedestrian collisions, as well.

The “fender-bender” is the bane of rush-hour travelers.  But a new study says auto-braking safety systems, which are designed to react automatically should a driver miss an impending collision, are having, if you will, a major impact, preventing at least one in four rear-end collisions.

A study of insurance claims by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that Volvo’s City Safe system, in particular, reduced the number of vehicle damage claims by 27%, while insurance claims related to bodily injuries dropped by 51% on vehicles using the technology.

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“This is our first real-world look at an advanced crash avoidance technology, and the findings are encouraging,” said Adrian Lund, president of the HLDI.

The City Safety system uses an infrared laser sensor attached to the windshield to monitor traffic in front of a vehicle.  At speeds ranging from 2 to 19 mph – typical on crowded urban and in rush hour traffic – the system will detect a potential collision.  If the driver doesn’t react by the time the two cars are 18 feet apart, it will automatically jam on the brakes.

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