Naijauto.com has always been in support of most innovations pertaining to safety in automobiles but this new one from Volvo seems a bit controversial for us.
The brand has announced that for all of its models that will be rolled out starting early 2020 will each by standard be fitted with in-car driver monitoring systems that have cameras which could lead an autonomous capable car to take over control from a drunk or reckless driver.
Imagine you are driving your 2020 Volvo car and decided to “play rough” on a lonely road only for your car to hijack control from you and start driving itself Lol.
What exactly will the car do? Will it park or continue the journey by itself within the speed limit? How will you retrieve control back?
This Volvo’s initiative is part of the company’s desire to achieve “zero” road fatalities in the future. The brand has also announced its plan to impose a speed limit of 112mph upon all of its cars that will be rolled out from the year 2021 onward.
This proposed driver monitoring system is said to be capable of detecting if the person behind the wheels is in a drugged state or drunk. It can as well detect if a driver is distracted or has fallen asleep while driving. Volvo expressed that;
“These three areas constitute the main ‘gaps’ towards Volvo’s vision of a future with zero traffic fatalities.”
The brand did not just wake up with this idea “out of the blue”. This whole idea of in-car monitoring sensors and cameras have been introduced partly because of past road fatalities records from the US that clearly reveals a huge 30% of deaths from traffic fatalities in the year 2017 had intoxicated drivers involved in each case.
In 2016 alone, over 230 deaths were recorded in “drink-drive” traffic crash cases in the UK
The data from the UK had a lower percentage figure which can be understood to some extent. In the year 2016, about 230 people were confirmed dead in “drink-drive” crash cases so, “intoxicated/drugged drivers” will surely be a smaller percentage as this is the case. The just-mentioned figure however represented about 12% of the total 1792 road fatalities in the UK for the year 2016 altogether. And, we need to add that close to 8800 people were severely injured in car accidents that same year in a broader view.
Volvo claims that it believes distraction and intoxication is best approached by fitting sensors and cameras that;
“allow the car to intervene if the driver doesn’t respond to warning signals”
And for future cars that will be equipped with advanced self-driving systems, it’s very much feasible that these in-car sensors/cameras will be able to take control as well as manoeuvre an affected vehicle to safety in real-time.
Volvo also said that;
“Intervention could involve limiting the car’s speed, alerting Volvo On Call assistance and, as a final course of action, slowing down and safely parking the car.”
All the cars that will be built as the next iteration of Volvo’s scalable SPA2 platform and will be launched in the early period of year 2020 are expected to be the first set of cars to get these in-car sensors and cameras although the full details regarding their positions and numbers aren’t revealed yet by the brand.
Volvo’s in-car cameras and sensors are promised to be able to detect drunk or intoxicated drivers and stop them
Volvo did not stop there, they have also introduced Care key now as an imposed standard on all of their cars being rolled out currently. This Care key is a type of technology that is built directly into a car’s key that allows for a certain speed limit to be set by a car owner for any driver who borrows the car for an unsupervised drive. Many people will still remember that Ford actually introduced this type of system previously which they called “MyKey” about 6 years ago on their Fiesta with which they aimed at preventing speeding/over-speeding especially among the younger drivers that borrow cars from their parents.
Volvo’s announcement of this new in-car driver monitoring system comes with the brand’s celebration of its 60th anniversary after the launch of the 3-point seatbelt that has been made standard for all of its cars which have been recorded to have saved over a million lives globally so far.
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