UPDATE: Volvo XC60 Hits Two People During Pedestrian Safety Demonstration, Human Error?

Not for one second did we ever imagine somebody would test systems such as Volvo’s autonomous braking safety features by accelerating towards actual pedestrians. Nevertheless, this is precisely what recently happened during a safety demonstration in the Dominican Republic and it all went terribly wrong when the brakes weren’t applied.
Volvo XC60 Hits Two People During Safety Demonstration 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
As you’ll be able to see in the video below, a Volvo XC60 facelift attempts to use what the uploader of the video describes as “City Safety” but ends up hitting two pedestrians.

It all looks like a terribly ridiculous impact, with the video uploader explaining the drivers didn’t have the system turned on at the moment. This seems a bit odd, so we’ll add a massive grain of salt.

One possible scenario is that the XC60 was fitted with the standard City Safety system, as described in the video, but not with the optional Pedestrian Detection featuring a complete auto brake function. If this was the case, the crossover was prepared to brake when other cars were detected in front of it, not to sense pedestrians walking into its path and bring itself to a halt. Which means it was all a ridiculous human error.

You might recall Volvo’s City Safety debuted with a bang back in 2010, when an S60 hit the back of a truck after the system didn’t apply the brakes as intended. That test uses a car without a driver and a closed course.

The automaker explained the fault was due to a battery that had been flat, with the low voltage temporarily disabling the safety system. You can see the video of that below the more recent one.

Fortunately though, the uploader also mentions the two men escaped the accident with just bruises. Regardless, we’ve reached out to Volvo, as we are seeking an official explanation for this unfortunate situation. We'll remind you the Swedish carmaker has announced the goal of eliminating all deaths in its vehicles by 2020.

UPDATE: Volvo has answered our request to help clarify the matter. As expected, all the clues point to a human error.

Here's Volvo's statement: "We're very saddened to see this footage. It appears as if the car in this video is not equipped with Pedestrian detection. This is sold as a separate package. Volvo Cars strongly recommends to never perform tests towards real humans."

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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