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Volvo Cars Presents System for Avoiding Collisions at Low Speeds

December 04, 2006

IRVINE, CA – Volvo Cars has unveiled a system that can help the car driver avoid the sort of low-speed collisions that are common in urban traffic and in slow-moving traffic. If the driver is about to drive into the vehicle in front and does not react in time, the car brakes itself. The system is called City Safety. Volvo Cars plans to introduce City Safety on the market within the coming two years. “The system offers benefits to all involved. For the occupants of the car in front, the risk of whiplash injuries is avoided or reduced. What is more, the system can help reduce or sometimes even eliminate the cost of repairs to both vehicles,” said Ingrid Skogsmo, director of the Volvo Cars Safety Center. If the vehicle in front suddenly brakes and the City Safety senses that a collision is likely to happen it will pre charge the brakes to help the driver to avoid an accident by braking or let the driver steer away from a potential collision. However, when the system senses that a collision is imminent, the car will brake automatically through hydraulic pump activation. The system keeps a watchful eye on traffic in front of the car with the help of an optical radar system integrated into the upper part of the windscreen at the height of the interior rear-view mirror. It can monitor vehicles that are up to six meters in front of the car. City Safety operates is programmed to respond if the vehicle in front is either at a standstill or is moving in the same direction as the car itself. Based on the distance to the object in front and the car’s own speed, the system runs a calculation 50 times per second to determine what braking speed is needed to avoid a collision. If the calculated braking force exceeds a given level without the driver responding, the danger of a collision is considered imminent. In such a case, City Safety helps avoid or reduce the consequences of a collision by automatically activating the car’s brakes or by auto braking and switching off the throttle.
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