Volvo promises deathproof cars by two thousand twenty

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 10:02 PM

Volvo has made a shocking pledge: By two thousand twenty, number one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car or SUV.

Volvo promises deathproof cars by two thousand twenty

Volvo has made a shocking pledge: By two thousand twenty, number one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car or SUV.

Seriously.

"If you meet Swedish engineers, they're beautiful genuine," said Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars N America. "They don't declare things when they don't believe in it."

There is one huge caveat. If someone really wants to damage themselves, or is just really, really stupid... well, Volvo can't do anything about that. But, assuming you're not a suicidal maniac or a total idiot, in four years, you'll be safer driving a new Volvo than you're climbing a ladder to screw in a light bulb.

Fatality-free vehicles aren't unprecedented. In fact, there already are some, and they're not just Volvos. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Hwy Safety, there are nine vehicle models -- including the Volvo XC90 -- in which number one in the United States died in the four years from two thousand nine to two thousand twelve, the most recent period for which data is available.

Volvo, still based in Sweden but presently owned by China'south Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (GELYY), wants to create this the case for its all vehicle line up throughout the world. The automaker already tracks how many people die in its vehicles in order to monitor safety. That way, engineers can tell how much safer their vehicles become each time they roll out a new crash-prevention technology. That also helps Volvo predict how much safer its vehicles will be with each new advancement.

Ultimately, all these new technologies will be tied to together to create a car that can, literally, drive itself. In fact, a no of automakers, not not just Volvo, have promised to sell autonomous cars by two thousand twenty.

"With the development of full autonomy we're going to thrust the limits of automotive safety," said Volvo safety engineer Erik Coelingh, "because if you create a fully autonomous vehicle you've to think through everything that potentially can happen with a car."

That doesn't imply that drivers will necessarily have to utilize the car'south autonomous driving mode in order to be safe, though. Even when the driver is in full control of the car, these systems will still running in the background, prepared to get over the instant there'south danger.

Most of the technology that'south required for autonomous driving is already available from Volvo and other carmakers. Here'south a see at the features that, when combined all together in one vehicle, will essentially create it crashproof.

Adaptive Cruise Control: Adaptive cruise control, which is already available on many new cars, uses radar and sometimes other sensors to detect vehicles on the road ahead. You set a maximum speed and then your car maintains a secure following distance on its own, operating the gas and the brakes for you. Some systems love this only work at hwy cruising speeds, but many can work even in stop-and-go traffic.

Auto lane keeping assist: Cameras detect lane lines and road edges, and the car steers itself to stay in its lane.

Collision avoidance: Radar, cameras or other sensors detect obstacles ahead and warn the driver. If the driver still doesn't react, the car can apply the brakes automatically to avoid, or at minimum reduce, the impact of a crash. In the United States, auto safety regulators have found this technology particularly effective in reducing crashes.

Pedestrian detection: Cameras, including ones that can look in the dark, are programmed to detect human forms that might straggle into the path of the car. Drivers can be alerted and again, the car can brake automatically.

Large animal detection: Hitting a moose, deer or elk is definitely horrible for the animal but it'south also very horrible for a car'south passengers. Volvo has created a system that can detect when a large animal is walking in front of your car, saving both you and the absent-minded animal.

Editor'south note: This legend has been updated to reflect the time period during which nine vehicles, including the Volvo XC90, had number crash-related fatalities.

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