Volvo has always been synonymous with safety. Heck, this company practically invented the seat belt, so it’s no surprise to say that the Swedish car manufacturer has several programs in play to develop on top of the unique systems it already places in its current production cars.
It can be argued that the most unsafe component of any vehicle is the driver, so Volvo has initiated plans to test out a fleet of autonomous cars to see if removing us from the equation improves things. “Drive Me” is the name of the project and its purpose is to determine if drivers can safely engage in other activities while the stalwart Volvo shuttles them to their destination. It’s essentially like hitting “auto-pilot” on a plane while you read, send out emails, or other activities that would take your attention away from the road.
In partnership with the local government, the project intends to put a mix of 100 test vehicles on the roads outside Gothenburg by 2017 to test the active and passive systems in various conditions. This follows existing technology like collision prevention system designed specifically to identify pedestrians and cyclists, coming to a full stop when they’re detected at low speeds.
Many of the safety systems Volvo has in store are expected to be standard in the 2016 XC90, the vehicle on which the company demonstrated a host of upcoming tech. Some of it is as simple as a newly designed seat cushion designed to absorb energy in the event of a collision, easing the pressure on the spine. Others, like a Run Off-Road Protection Package, involve numerous sensors, cameras and scanners to sense that you’ve unintentionally left the pavement and trigger responsive safety reactions by the car automatically.
We can all agree that, even with a substantial pack of safety technology built into modern cars, it’s ultimately down to the driver to be the one to make the best decisions possible for the sake of themselves and those around them. Still, it’d be good to know the car you’re driving’s got your back, too, just in case.
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