Our window to the world

Throughout history, the human eye has meant different things to different cultures. In ancient Egypt it was worshipped as a powerful symbol of good health and protection, during the Renaissance it represented vision and clarity, whereas the eye that graces today’s American dollar bill is designed to depict guidance and reassurance. But what about for those of us who worship at the altar of the automobile? What do our eyes mean to our enjoyment of our cars and can they really hold the key to a better life on the road?

"Being aware of our surroundings gives us a feeling of control."

A welcome, watchful eye

Awareness, guidance, reassurance and protection. At one time or another, the human eye has been used to represent all of these things. And is it any wonder? Our eyes are amazing. The second most complex organ in the human body after the brain, our eyes contain 107 million light-sensitive cells, which allow us to perceive objects in colour, depth and detail, as well as help us make informed decisions about our environment. They can also process 36,000 pieces of information every hour and are home to the hardest working muscles in the human body. In fact, whoever coined the phrase, ’our eyes are the window to the soul,’ was actually doing them a disservice – our eyes are our window to the world!

While just knowing that our cars are capable of keeping a watchful eye out for trouble where we might not expect it gives us a feeling of calm reassurance. When we have these things, we can really start to live in the moment and enjoy the ride. This is why Volvo Cars spends so much time developing new on- board safety solutions: so that you can drive where you want, when you want, without having to worry about any unexpected obstacles getting in your way.

The feeling of freedom, the possibility of adventure and the pleasure that comes from living in the moment: this is what we want from our cars, and our eyes hold the key. When we’re driving, being aware of our surroundings gives us a feeling of control.

An eye for innovation

So, how exactly can your car make you more aware when you’re out on the road? Over the years, Volvo Cars has introduced numerous safety solutions designed to help you keep a closer eye on your surroundings. The extra field of vision provided by innovations such as Blind spot information, Lane assist and the 360° birds-eye camera, allows you to stay in control when your vision is limited or obscured. Situations that, only a few short years ago, would have been a lot more difficult to negotiate.

But Volvo Cars’ latest safety solutions don’t simply keep an eye out for potentially hazardous situations, they are also capable of taking action to prevent them occurring in the first place. Volvo Cars has been leading the way in the development of on-board auto-brake technology since becoming one of the first car manufacturers to introduce collision warning with brake support. Now, years of research, ambition and innovation have culminated in City Safety, Volvo Cars’ cutting-edge collection of auto-brake functions and on-board crash prevention technology.

In the same way that our eyes capture light and send information back to the brain, City Safety captures the car’s surroundings and sends important information back to the driver. City Safety includes pedestrian and cyclist detection, Forward Collision Warning and another Volvo Cars safety world first – autobrake at intersections. Based on a combination of camera and radar, this solution can detect objects, tracks their movements and determines their distance from the car – even in the dark.


A reassuring combination

If the sensors believe a collision is imminent, it will use the information gathered to evaluate the situation and send a warning to the driver. If the driver doesn’t react in time, the auto-brake function can be activated. Of course, no matter how amazing these latest on-board safety innovations are, they are no substitute for what the human eye is capable of observing. So, don’t think of Volvo Cars safety solutions, such as City Safety and our park assist cameras as substitutes for your own eyes, think of them as reassuring helping hands willing to offer assistance whenever they are needed.

With so much on-board safety technology now focusing on improving our vision and helping us eliminate blind spots, it would seem that in today’s car culture our eyes have come to represent more than ever before. Not only vision and clarity, but freedom, awareness, guidance and protection. A very reassuring combination.