Reinforcing its reputation for safety-first driving, Volvo has announced plans of featuring its future models from the early 2020s with cameras and sensors that would monitor drivers for signs of being drunk or distracted.
The company detailed about the safety features at a briefing in Gothenburg earlier this week, marking a significant step towards its pledge to eliminate passenger fatalities. This falls in line with the automotive industry’s shift towards safe operating autonomous vehicles in the past year.
The company plans to mitigate drunk driving either by limiting the car’s speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistant service, or slowing down and parking the car.
Volvo was earlier reported to build driverless highway autopilot car with Swedish auto parts manufacturer Veoneer in an attempt to achieve a third of its sales from autonomous vehicles by 2025. However, speaking to Reuters, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson stated that it would take another 5 to 10 years before the there was a mass takeup of such vehicles.
“These active safety technologies are there from 2021… smart sensors, smart speed limiters, smart distraction sensors, smart intoxication sensors. That will come,” he added. In addition to this, head of R&D Henrik Green suggested that the cameras will be installed on all Volvo models built on the SPA2 platform for larger cars, starting from the XC90.
The company is reputed to be a star performer in global safety standard assessments.
Volvo has been tight-lipped about any further details about the safety features but suggests that it will mitigate the issue either by limiting the car’s speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistant service, or slowing down and parking the car.
This news comes a few weeks after the company announced that it will cap the speed limit on all its new models at 180kph. Samuelsson believes that while this move could mean Volvo might lose customers who favour high speeds, it will also open opportunities to win parents who want to buy the safest car to carry their children.
“It would be easy to say that people can do whatever they like but we feel we have a responsibility to do this. Maybe people will see us as ‘Big Brother’, but if we save some lives then it’s worth it,” Samuelsson said.
In addition to this, the Swedish company also said that it will introduce Care Key on cars from 2021 that would allow buyers to set their own speed limits.