Volvo XC90 focuses on safety
Volvo Cars is claiming the all-new XC90, to be fully revealed in August, will be one of the safest new cars on the road with a range of innovative safety systems.
THE SAFETY-FOCUSED BRAND says the all-new XC90 will help get the brand “a significant step closer to its vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020” – a program called Vision 2020.
According to a release from Volvo, “the standard safety package on the all-wheel drive, seven seat premium SUV will include two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and an autobrake at intersection capability. These innovations will form part of a suite of safety features that will make the all-new XC90 one of the safest cars ever made”.
The suite of safety systems being offered on the XC90:
Run-off road protection According to Volvo, half of all traffic fatalities in the United States are road departure accidents; in Sweden, single-vehicle accidents involve one third of all fatal and severe injury crashes with passenger cars.
“Committing to safety is not about passing a test or getting a ranking,” says Professor Lotta Jakobsson, Senior Technical Specialist Safety at Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “It is about finding out how and why accidents and injuries occur, and then developing the technology to prevent them. We lead, the industry follows.”
Volvo Cars has developed Safe Positioning that is intended to address these situations. The Safe Positioning capability means that in a run-off road scenario, the All-New Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts tighten to keep the occupants in position. The belts are firmly tightened as long as the car is in motion. In addition to keeping you safe after an accident, the XC90 will feature technologies to avoid such scenarios, such as Lane Keeping Aid and Driver Alert Control and also Rest Stop Guidance, which directs the driver to the nearest rest area.
Autobrake at intersections The XC90 will also feature, in a first, automatic braking if the driver turns in front of an oncoming car. The vehicle detects a potential crash and brakes automatically in order to avoid a collision or mitigate the consequences of a crash … “further example of how new technologies target substantial real-life traffic problems,” says Prof Lotta Jakobsson. “This strategy moves us closer and closer to our ambition that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.”
Pre-crash protection in rear impacts Rearward facing radars detect if a rear impact is imminent and safety belts are tightened in advance in order to keep the occupants in a good position. The rear lights also start flashing to warn the driver behind, and the brakes are activated to help reduce the impact on the occupants.
Rollover prevention and protection The all-new Volvo XC90 is available with the brand’s latest generation Roll Stability Control as standard. The system uses advanced sensors to calculate the risk of rolling over. If the risk is assessed as high, engine torque is restricted and some braking force is applied to one or more wheels to counteract the rollover tendency. If a rollover is inevitable, the Inflatable Curtains are activated. They cover all three seat rows for an extended period of time to help prevent head injuries. Unlike other cars, all seven seats in the XC90 have pyrotechnical safety belt pre-tensioners that activate in rollover situations.
City Safety autobraking functions City Safety will become the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ autobrake functions – which are standard equipment in the XC90.
“City Safety is one of the most advanced standard crash prevention offers you can find in a modern car. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night,” explains Prof Jakobsson. “We are now able to cover the whole span from dusk to dawn by a smarter and faster high-sensitive camera combined with advanced exposure control.”
Extended Road Sign Information The XC90, says Volvo, is the first car on the market with Road Sign Information technology as standard. It has been further enhanced to show an extended selection of road signs in the digital display in front of the driver, such as various types of supplementary signs. Just how useful this feature will be remains to be seen.
Blind Spot The Blind Spot Information System informs about vehicles in the blind spots. It also alerts the driver to vehicles that are approaching fast from behind.
Queue Assist Queue Assist enables safe and comfortable driving by following the vehicle in front in slow-moving queues. Acceleration, braking and steering are controlled automatically.
“Distraction and inattentiveness are the most common cause of accidents in modern traffic. The Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist makes driving safer and more relaxed in monotonous stop-and-go traffic by adding steering assistance to the speed adaption,” explains Prof Jakobsson.