Volvo Reveals New Automatic Braking Technology

Automatic braking technologies have been around for a while but Swedish carmaker Volvo has just announced the next generation safety technology that can detect pedestrians who walk out in front of the car and automatically brake to a full halt. The car is able to avoid the pedestrian at speeds below 15 mph (24 km/h) in case the driver reacts slower, the company said.

Codenamed Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Safety, the new system will be officially released in 2010, together with the all-new Volvo S60.

"The previous stages were developed to help the driver avoid collisions with other vehicles. Now we are taking a giant step forward with a function that also boosts safety for unprotected road-users. What is more, we are advancing from fifty percent to full automatic braking power. To our knowledge, none of our competitors have made such progress in this area," explains Thomas Broberg, safety expert at Volvo Cars.

The system relies on a dual-mode radar mounted in the front grille plus a camera installed behind the rear-view mirror. The radar's main goal is to detect the objects in front of the car and measure the distance to them while the camera is especially designed to determine what type of obstacles they are.

In case such a situation occurs, the system will automatically send an audio notification to the driver along with a flashing light in the head-up display. If the technology receives no answer from the driver and a collision becomes imminent, it applies full power on the brakes.

"Active brake deployment requires that the object is confirmed by both the radar and the camera. Thanks to state-of-the-art sensor technology, it is now possible to engage full braking power. We are probably among the very first in the world to offer full-braking protection for pedestrians," explains Thomas Broberg.


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