Volvo Aims to Build 'Uncrashable' Car

Monday, 19 August 2013

The notion of a car that can't crash may seem like something from a sci-fi novel, but it's something that Volvo aims to achieve within the next decade. The approach being taken by the Swedish manufacturer is to make cars more autonomous, with the aim of eventually removing the driver from the equation almost altogether - a concept that the company has already demonstrated on its own test track.

While the necessary infrastructure and legislation to put autonomous cars on the road may be some way off, there are plenty of other measures that Volvo intend to implement to cut the number of accidents in their cars to zero by 2020, and to reduce the total number of car insurance claims.

The manufacturer has had some success in selling its safety systems to other car companies in recent years - so the following impressive features could be widespread within just 10 years:

Animal detection - This system is able to recognise an animal standing in the path of the car and automatically brake so that the car's structure is able to withstand any impact.

Road edge and barrier detection - This consists of cameras that will scan the edges of the road and detect whether the car is moving towards them. If the car is about to leave the road, it will automatically brake and steer in the opposite direction.

Night time pedestrian protection - The cameras mentioned above can also recognise pedestrians and cyclists. Other manufacturers have their own systems to warn drivers that they may be about to hit a pedestrian, but Volvo's is the first to be combined with automatic braking.

Car to car communications - Standards for cars to communicate with each other won't be agreed until at least 2016, but will ultimately allow cars to detect whether a stopped vehicle is out of sight further up the road, as well as anti-collision measures.

Autonomous Parking - In the longer term, Volvo intends to give its cars the ability to park themselves and then return to their owners using smartphones as controllers.

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