Safety first: Volvo to add in-car sensors to prevent drunk driving

GOTHENBURG (Reuters) – the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo is hoping to bolster its reputation for safety-first drive by installing cameras and sensors in the cars from the beginning of 2020, monitoring drivers for signs of drunken or distracted and intervene to prevent accidents.

FILE PHOTO: the 2016 Volvo XC90, winner of the Truck of the Year award at the North American International Auto Show is shown in Detroit, Michigan, January 11. 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

The safety features, detailed at a briefing in Gothenburg on Wednesday, which worked out plans earlier this month, marking a new step by Volvo in the direction of his pledge to eliminate passenger deaths in 2020.

Volvo, which in the 1950s was the first car manufacturer to introduce the three-point seat belts, had said on March 4, would the introduction of a 180 km per hour the speed limit on all new vehicles.

Volvo said that the cameras and sensors are installed on all models built on the SPA2 platform for larger cars such as the XC90 SUV, which the driverless cars will also be built, starting in the beginning of the next decade.

Intervene if the driver is found to be drunk, fatigued, or distracted by the check of a mobile phone – one of the biggest factors in the accident may pertain to the limit of the speed of the car, the alarm of the Volvo on Call service, or the slowing and parking of the car, it said.

Development of technology in support of these maneuvers has accelerated in recent years as the industry focuses more and more on electric and autonomous cars.

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told journalists the developments of the technology meant car manufacturers had the responsibility to take on the role of Big Brother to the safety on the roads.

While the strategy referred to Volvo, owned by chinese Geely, might lose some customers like to be on the high speeds, it also opened opportunities to win parents who wanted to buy the safest car to carry their children, ” he said.

Volvo also said that it would introduce, Make-Key, allowing a Volvo buyer to set a speed limit for oneself or for the loan of the car to the younger or inexperienced drivers, which is standard for all cars starting in 2021.

Samuelsson said Volvo was in talks with insurers to offer favourable conditions for what is referred to as “club max 180” customers who have made use of the safety devices.

“If we encourage and support better behavior with a technique that helps the driver to stay out of trouble, that must logically also have a positive effect on the insurance premiums,” Samuelsson said.

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Gothenburg; Editing by David Holmes

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