Volvo has always prided itself in championing automotive safety, and the Swedish automaker says its upcoming EX90 electric SUV will be no different. In addition to standard safety features such as seatbelts and airbags, the new model will be equipped to combat distracted driving.
Jim Rowan Announces a New Era for Safety for Volvo Cars
Referred to as the ‘driver understanding system,’ the setup involves an interior camera system that monitors driver activity. Two cameras mounted on the rearview mirror measure the length of time the driver looks at the road ahead, allowing for natural variations.
If it determines that the user is not looking at the road enough, it could be a sign of visual and cognitive distraction, which can compromise safety. The vehicle’s capacitive steering wheel can also monitor the consistency of steering input, able to sense if the driver lets go of the tiller.
Based on data gathered by the system, the EX90 can take appropriate action. If the driver does not respond to the initial warning issued by the system, the car can automatically pull over to the side of the road and activate the hazard lights to warn other road users.
A pair of interior cameras will monitor the driver's gaze to see if enough time is being spent looking at the road
“Our research shows that by simply observing where the driver is looking at and how often and for how long their eyes are closed, we can tell a lot about the state of the driver,” according to Volvo Cars Safety Center Senior Technical Expert Emma Tivesten.
“The sensing system allows our cars to identify whether the driver’s ability is impaired, perhaps due to drowsiness, distraction or other causes for inattention, and to offer extra assistance in a way that best suits the situation.”
Volvo's exterior sensors reduce the probability of a crash on the road
Crash avoidance is also an area where Volvo expects its upcoming model to shine. A state-of-the-art array of eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors and an advanced lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor produces a 360-degree real-time view of the exterior environment, powered by Volvo’s core computing platform and software.
The system can detect pedestrians from as far as 250 meters even at highway speeds. Volvo says that it can reduce accidents with severe outcomes by up to 20 percent, and improve overall crash avoidance by up to nine percent.
The latest electric Volvo will make its world premiere by the last quarter of the year
“We believe the EX90 to be the safest Volvo car to ever hit the road,” said Volvo Cars Safe Vehicle Automation Head Joachim de Verdier. “When all our safety systems, sensors, software, and computing power come together, they create a preventative shield of safety around you – and you won’t even know it’s there until you need it.”
Volvo will unveil the EX90 in November 2022.
Learn more about cutting-edge automotive safety tech at Philkotse.com.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo