Volvo Safety: two words that go together so well and show just how important Volvo traffic safety is to this Swedish car manufacturer. There’s no doubt that Volvo has an outstanding global reputation for the safety of its cars and for the research and investment it makes into vehicle safety. Now Volvo has used the 1st European Conference on Connected and Automated Driving in Brussels to deliver an important message, calling on other vehicle manufacturers and governments worldwide to join Volvo in a data-sharing project that could significantly enhance road safety in every country that participates.
Two years ago, Volvo started to share anonymised, real-time, safety data from all Volvo cars in areas of Sweden and Norway about road friction from their anti-skid systems, via a cloud-based system. The information is passed to other road users, making them aware of issues in their immediate vicinity. The information is also made available to road administration authorities, so that they can take any action needed to deal with the icy conditions. Similarly, Volvo monitored when hazard warning lights were activated and passed this information to other road users to advise them of a possible hazard ahead. In Sweden and Norway, these Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert systems are standard on the all-new XC60, V90 Cross Country, V90, S90 and XC90. Now Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo, has called on all governments and vehicle manufacturers to join with Volvo in this major safety initiative to reduce accidents and improve driving safety in every country of the world through the free sharing of such data.
Håkan Samuelsson also raised concerns about the safety of Level 3 autonomous driving modes, which some vehicle manufacturers were introducing on their cars. Basically, these systems allow a car to be under autonomous control, but then require the driver to take over at short notice in an emergency. Volvo will be launching its first autonomous cars in 2021 and will be fully autonomous at level 4, meaning they will be capable of both driving themselves without supervision and handling any emergency. What’s more, Volvo will have such confidence in its systems that it will assume full liability for whatever happens whilst the car is in its autonomous mode.
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