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Volvo offers crash avoidance system

Published:Sunday | August 24, 2014 | 8:00 AM
A graphic representation of Volvo's crash avoidance system. - Contributed

Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer

Volvo, the Chinese-owned automaker and safety pioneer which brought motorists the seat belt, has introduced another revolutionary safety feature. Utilising the latest technology, the system detects pedestrians and cyclists ahead of the vehicle, thereby alerting the driver to potential collisions.

The technology has been available across Volvo's 2014 line. It is an enhanced version of Volvo's pedestrian detection system, which it launched in 2010. With the current pedestrian and cyclist detection system, a radar unit assesses the speed of objects in front of the vehicle and works with a fast-acting camera that profiles the size and shape of what is detected.

It continually monitors the movement and trajectory of objects in front of the vehicle. If the system determines that contact is imminent, a red warning light is illuminated in front of the driver. If the driver acknowledges the warning by reacting to the situation, the system stands down. However, if the driver fails to react to the warning, the full braking pressure is engaged independently, engaging the anti-lock braking system.

The system is not foolproof and, as such, it is not guaranteed that accidents will be avoided. However, it will lessen impact severity and could possibly avert impact.

Not without its share of criticisms, safety campaigners say the technology is no replacement for driver caution.

Another version of the system is expected to hit the roads by 2020. However, a release date has not been confirmed. In that version, the system will be geared towards detecting animals.