Fail: Smart Volvo S60 Crashes in Safety Demo

Although the auto industry evolved a lot, there is a bunch of people that still believe Volvo makes the safest cars out there. Over the years, the Swedish car manufacturer, who's now owned by the Chinese Geely, managed to step into the spotlights using all kind of safety innovations. And even if the world has obviously changed, Volvo tries to adopt the same marketing strategy to promote its cars. In other words, demonstrate your safety systems to the world and wait for the applauds.

Unfortunately, something went wrong this time. We all heard of what Volvo's new S60 is up to and although the company hasn't fully demonstrated its abilities, it was believed to be one of the safest sedans out there. Until now...

Long story short: Volvo proudly announced a public demonstration of the new safety features of its S60 and invited journalists to watch the “amazing” thingy. The car was fired out of Volvo's famous safety tunnel towards a parked truck. The scenario was quite simple: the crash-avoidance system should have detected the risk of impact and pushed the brakes.

In a perfect world sketched by Volvo, such a scenario sounds like milk and honey. But in reality, the S60 crashed into the truck and made the audience express a big and ironic “OH...”.

'What went wrong?', you may ask. As expected, Volvo says the safety systems worked as they should and blamed a “poor” engineer for the glitch. The Volvo official told Wired that it all happened due to a battery problem which was actually neglected by the engineer that inspected the car before the demonstration... Surprised? Not at all... Maybe it is the 'driver's' (to be read dummy) fault for the crash...

We should stop here and let Volvo (and Geely) prepare their fancy suits for the upcoming demos. But we bet that Bill Gate's epic “Oh...” in 1998 doesn't sound so embarrassing now, does it?

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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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