Posted: Mar 22, 2019
Volvo will deploy in-car cameras in an attempt to curb drunk, distracted driving (via Volvo Cars)
Speeding, intoxication, and distraction are primary traffic safety concerns.
And since Volvo already addressed the first with a new top speed limit, the Swedish automaker is moving on to the next two.
In a Wednesday announcement, Volvo revealed plans to install a suite of in-car cameras and sensors to monitor drivers.
If, for instance, a clearly drunk or distracted motorist doesn’t respond to warning signals, the vehicle could automatically intervene by limiting its speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistance service, or even slowing down and parking the car.
“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” according to Henrik Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo Cars. “In this case, cameras will monitor for behavior that may lead to serious injury or death.”
That could mean someone who has fallen asleep at the wheel or is preoccupied with a mobile phone, as well as extreme weaving across lanes or excessively slow reaction times.
Cameras will begin appearing in all Volvo models starting in the early 2020s; details on the number of sensors and their placement will be revealed closer to launch.
“There are many accidents that occur as a result of intoxicated drivers,” Trent Victor, professor of driver behavior at Volvo Cars, said in a statement. “Some people still believe that they can drive after having had a drink, and that this will not affect their capabilities.
“We want to ensure that people are not put in danger as a result of intoxication,” he added.
As part of Volvo Vision 2020—a plan to reduce the number of people who die or are seriously injured in road traffic accidents to zero—the company identified “gaps” in its safety protocols.
Unsurprisingly, speeding is a “very prominent” one.
Early this month, Volvo sent a “strong signal” about the dangers of speeding by promising to limit cars’ top rate of motion at 112 mph. The manufacturer is also looking into how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology can automatically slow down vehicles near schools and hospitals.
By Stephanie Mlot
March 21, 2019
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