Hailed as some of the world’s safest cars according to third-party crash testing, Volvo Cars could become even safer with technology that addresses the challenges of drunk and/or distracted driving, as well as speeding.
Distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving are the top three causes of accidents in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Volvo Cars will soon include in-car cameras and other sensors that monitor the driver and allow the car to intervene if a clearly intoxicated or distracted driver does not respond to warning signals and is risking an accident involving serious injury or death.
That intervention could involve limiting the car’s speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistance service or, as a last resort, slowing down and safely parking the car.
Signs of distracted or intoxicated behavior include a complete lack of steering input for extended periods of time, drivers who are detected to have their eyes closed or off the road for extended periods of time, extreme weaving across lanes, or excessively slow reaction times.
Volvo will introduce cameras on the next generation of the company’s scalable SPA2 vehicle platform in the early 2020s, with the number of cameras and positioning to be revealed prior to production.
In addition to cabin cameras, the company will limit the top speed on all its cars to approximately 112 mph (180 kph) from model year 2021, in order to send a strong signal about the dangers of speeding.
Volvo Cars also recently revealed the Care Key, which allows Volvo drivers to impose limitations on the car’s top speed on all cars from model year 2021, before lending their car to others.
The Care Key, the monitoring cameras, the speed limit, along with existing driver assistance systems all serve one crucial aim: to support safer driving.