15 Ways Your Volvo Looks Out for You (And Others)
With congested commuter traffic and busy freeways, modern-day driving can be a stressful experience.
However, through Volvo Cars’ commitment to making driving easier and safer, and its vision that no-one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020, the Swedish company’s expansive suite of innovative Intellisafe technologies are designed to create a safer and more enjoyable journey.
The features are designed to support you while driving, helping to make you aware of your surroundings including other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
They can help prevent accidents – and help protect you and your occupants in the event of one occurring.
Here’s I Roll’s guide to 15 Volvo technologies that reflect the premium car maker’s approach to intelligent vehicle safety.
Keeping you centred in your lane
Lane Keeping Aid monitors the marked lines forming your lane. If the system senses you starting to leave your lane unintentionally – crossing a line without indicating – it gently steers you back on track.
To ensure you can change lanes without the fear of moving into the path of another vehicle, our Blind Spot Information System uses radar sensors to alert you to traffic either side of your Volvo via visual warnings in the side mirrors.
Above: Active High Beam avoids dazzling other road users at night.
Helping you avoid dazzling other road users
The days of holding onto the headlight stalk at night to constantly switch between main and high beams are over with Active High Beam Control. This system allows you to drive with high beam on permanently, without dazzling other motorists, cyclists or pedestrians. It detects road users ahead of you and automatically shades the part of the high beam that would dazzle them. You get optimal light, improving safety for everyone. (Active High Beam on some models simply switches automatically between main and high beam when detecting other road users, though doesn’t use the shadowing system.)
Keeping you alert
If you are getting drowsy or inattentive at the wheel, Driver Alert Control will provide an audible and visual warning and prompt you to take a break. The Rest Stop Guidance function can even tell you where it’s safe to stop.
Helping you avoid rear-end collisions
Think of City Safety as a co-pilot that’s always looking out for you – detecting danger ahead, warning you and preparing the brakes for a quick response. If a collision is imminent it will brake automatically, making a collision less likely or reducing its impact.
Our City Safety technology detects pedestrians on the road ahead, whether they are stationary or moving into your path. If you don’t respond to a warning, your Volvo will brake automatically for you, which can lessen – or mitigate – an impact.
Above: City Safety helps you keep an eye out for cyclists.
Helping you protect cyclists
If a cyclist swerves in front of your car, our cyclist detection technology issues a warning and will brake automatically for you if a rapid response is necessary.
Giving you a bird's-eye view
With our optional 360° Surround View technology you can see obstacles all around you. It makes parking and manoeuvring in tight spaces simple.
Helping you swerve and avoid
Steering Support is an extended feature of City Safety available on some models. In the event of suddenly needing to avoid an obstacle ahead, the system – active between 50-100km/h – provides steering assistance to help you avoid a collision with a vehicle, pedestrian or large animal. It will then apply subtle braking to specific wheels to help straighten your Volvo again.
Sharing the steering load
Volvo’s Pilot Assist is our most advanced radar cruise control system. Beyond the system operating like our regular Adaptive Cruise Control system – maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front and having the ability to come to a complete stop in traffic and get underway again – the technology works alongside you at up to 130km/h to provide gentle steering inputs to help you stay in your lane.
Above: Intersection Auto Brake technology helps avoid turning into an oncoming vehicle.
Helping you turn safely
Our world-first intersection braking technology makes one of the most common – and damaging – types of collision less likely to happen. If you are about to turn into the path of an oncoming car, it detects if a collision is imminent, braking for you to reduce the severity of an impact, or avoid it altogether.
Helping you park
Park Assist Pilot is like having your own valet to park your car for you. The system firstly calculates whether a space is large enough to accommodate your Volvo, then it takes over the steering to guide you into the space. All you need to do is control the speed of the vehicle.
Checking behind you
Reversing out of a perpendicular parking spot with limited vision is no longer a challenge thanks to Cross Traffic Alert. CTA is designed to detect other vehicles crossing behind your Volvo while you are backing up – engaged automatically when the shift lever is placed in reverse. In certain circumstances, the system may also detect pedestrians or objects such as bicycles.
Helping you avoid oncoming traffic
In the event of you unwittingly wandering onto the wrong side of the road, Oncoming Lane Mitigation can help you avoid a collision with a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. Active between 60-140km/h, the system will provide automatic steering assistance to guide you safely back into your own lane.
Protecting you in an accident
In the event of an accidental departure from the road, Volvo technology doesn’t stop working. Firstly, the front seatbelts are tightened to keep occupants in position – and they remain firmly tightened as long as the car is in motion. To help prevent spine injuries, an energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can occur when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain. The solution is capable of reducing the vertical occupant forces by up to one third.
The systems above are driver assistance systems only, designed to operate when certain technical conditions are met and within certain parameters. They are not a substitute for safe driving practices or the driver’s control over the vehicle. The driver remains responsible for the vehicle.