Motoring News

Volvo zero tolerance will soon involve in-cabin, no crash, carmeras

  • Cabin cameras mooted for Volvo cars
  • Driving drunk – the car will park itself
  • ‘Interventions could limit the car’s speed’
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CARMERAS ALL OVER THE FRONT OF THE CAR: Volvo is getting very serious about chasing zero fatalities in its cars – even if the driver is drunk. Image: Volvo Cars

NEW YORK – Could this be an end to crashes involving alcoholic intoxication and simple driver distraction? Volvo – the automaker that brought crash restraint belts into the world of motoring – has revealed monitors for both conditions.

Apart from speeding (which Volvo intends to combat with a limit to top speed) booze and not looking where the driver should have become its two primary areas of concern.

”The above three areas,” Volvo says, ”are the main ‘gaps’ towards Volvo Cars’ vision of a future with zero traffic deaths and focus on human behaviour.

NO RESPONSE? THEN NO DRIVING

”For example,  American data shows almost 30% of all vehicular road deaths in 2017 involved intoxicated drivers.”

So, Volvo Cars has accepted that alcohol consumption and inattention should be monitored by in-car cameras and other sensors designed to  intervene if a clearly intoxicated or distracted driver does not respond to warning signals.

”That intervention,”the company says, ”could involve limiting the car’s speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistance service of, as a final course of action, overriding the driver, decelerating and safely parking the car.”

Radical!

HENRIK GREEN: Volvo’s senior VP for research and development, Image: Volvo Cars

Henrik Green, Volvo’s senior VP for research and development, told The Corner in a media release: “Our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when a crash is imminent and unavoidable.

CLOSING EYES – NO DRIVING

”In-car cameras will monitor the driver’s behaviour and identify when it might cause serious injury – or death.”

Examples of such behavior include a complete lack of steering input for extended periods, the driver’s eyes closing or being off the road for  longer than required, and ”extreme weaving across lanes or excessively slow reactions”.

READ MORE Volvo features on Carman’s Corner

”It’s all part of,” Volvo says, ”a monitoring system being an important in allowing a car to to make decisions to avoid a crash, serious injury – or death.”

TRENT VICTOR: Volvo’s Professor of Driver Behaviour in Sweden. Image: Volvo Cars

Trent Victor, Volvo’s Professor of Driver Behaviour, added: “Many crashes are caused by intoxication. Some people still believe they can drive after imbibing a drink containing alcohol – that it will not affect their driving.

FIRST CAMERAS SOON

”We want to ensure that people are not put in danger as a result of intoxication.”

The automaker will start fitting cameras in all its models in the early years of the 2020’s and says details on the number and mounting will soon be released.

This March 2019 announcement, Volvo said, should be viewed together with the company limiting the top speed on all its cars to 180km/h from model-year 2021.

The company says it wants to start a conversation about whether automakers have the right – maybe even an obligation – to install technology that can modify driving behaviour.

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HIDDEN CARMERAS: How about that round thing on top of the facia…? Image: Volvo Cars

”The speed limit and cameras illustrate how automakers can take responsibility for zero traffic deaths by supporting better driving behaviour.”

  • Volvo has also revealed a ‘Care Key’ with which a Volvo owner can limit hisher car’s top speed – such as when lending it to another driver – or perhaps until hisher children until they have adequate driving experience.
  • (The Corner suggests a rear warning light when the system is activated or other drivers are going to get really teed off!)

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