August 29, 2007 World-first driver alertness technology that includes automated lane departure warnings and a new collision warning system with auto braking will be among the innovations unveiled by Volvo at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Driver Alert Control (DAC) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) form a new safety system that activates when the car reaches 40mph and will stay active as long as the speed exceeds 37mph. DAC monitors the progress of the car on the road rather than the driver. Monitoring is achieved using a camera located between the windscreen and the interior rear view mirror, a number of sensors and a control unit. The camera measures the distance between the car and the road lane markings, while the sensors register the car's movements. This information is sent to the control unit which then calculates whether the driver is at risk of losing control of the car.
LDW alerts the driver if the car crosses road markings without reason using a camera located between the windscreen and the rear view mirror. Volvo researchers estimate that the LDW system can help to prevent 30 to 40 per cent of accidents caused by single car road departures and head-on collisions.
The two new systems were developed in response to studies showing that up to 90 per cent of all traffic accidents are caused by driver distraction. “Real life safety is the key to our safety philosophy. When it comes to preventative safety, we have the same approach as when we develop protective systems. In other words our research and technical developments focus on areas where new technology can create significant results in real-life-traffic,” says Ingrid Skogsmo, Director of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
Collision Warning with Auto Brake is an update of technology released in 2006 and helps to avoid rear end collisions. Using a radar and camera to detect vehicles in front of the car, the system automatically activates the breaks if it detects a potential crash. The radar has a range of 492 feet (150m) while the camera range is 180 feet (55m). The warning system can be adapted to match individual driving styles and conditions and can be changed in the car settings menu with a choice of three sensitivity options.
The system alerts the driver using a red warning light and an audible signal which in many cases is enough to allow the driver to react and avoid an accident. If the risk of collision increases despite the warning, then the automatic brake is activated. The system also includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to maintain a steady distance between the car in front even when traffic flow is uneven and Distance Alert to help maintain a safe distance to the vehicle in front even when ACC is not in use.
The Driver Alert Control and Lane Departure Warning system will be offered as an optional extra priced at £500 on new model Volvo V70 and XC70 and the Volvo S80 at the end of 2007. Collision Warning with Auto Brake will cost drivers £1,300 and available in Volvo S80, V70 and XC70^1 models at the end of 2007.
Stay tuned for more news from the floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show.