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2011 Volvo S60 T5 in action – click above for high-res image gallery

An impact with an automobile will crack a human's bones like lobster claws at a clambake; an outcome Volvo aims to fight with technology. Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, a system that uses radar and cameras to stop the car and avert mauling pedestrians, makes its debut on the 2011 Volvo S60. While a visit to the recent Wellesley, Massachusetts stop of the Naughty Volvo Tour at Lee Imported Cars didn't net us any wheel time, we got our first chance to get hands-on with the new S60 outside of a convention hall.

Make the jump for the full story.

Photos by Dan Roth / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Volvo is introducing the 2011 S60 to consumers with the Naughty Volvo Tour, and we crashed the party to spend some time pawing the company's newest mid-size sedan. The S60 is thoroughly redone inside and out. The exterior is at once familial and more bold. In the cabin, materials are high quality, with typically comfortable Volvo seats that may not be as aggressively bolstered as the "sport seat" moniker would suggest. The S60s interior design follows Volvo's clean, contemporary themes, updated with more features and options to stay competitive. A variety of modern exterior and interior colors further dispel the eons-old stereotype of bland, earth-toned Volvos.

The "naughty" part of the S60 refers to its sharp styling and driving dynamics that Volvo says are on par with BMW and Mercedes. There was no opportunity to get behind the wheel to verify the latter, but we did get a ride-along demonstration of the Pedestrian Detection feature. Integral to the promotional tour, Volvo is showing off this system as reminder that the company hasn't abandoned safety as its classical stock in trade.

Pedestrian Detection with full Auto-Brake is a lot like the Volvo City Safety system that bowed on the XC60. The end result of both technologies is that the car stops before impacting an object, as our test of City Safety demonstrated. Pedestrians present a much smaller profile than a vehicle, however, so Pedestrian Detection uses both an advanced radar unit mounted in the grille and a camera in the windshield to find humans, versus City Safety's single optical radar. Like City Safety, the Pedestrian Detection system is designed to work at city speeds, and Volvo's aim is to reduce the 4,700 annual pedestrian deaths resulting from auto impacts in the United States. When Pedestrian Detection senses a collision with a person is imminent, it first sounds a warning tone and flashes an LED atop the dashboard to alert the driver. If the alarm goes unheeded, the car will apply its brakes at full power in time to come to a full stop. The demonstration worked as planned, without repeating any of the embarassing mishaps that occurred earlier this year.

Just as fellow Swedish brand Saab is launching the new 9-5 in the full-boat Aero trim, the tip of the S60 spear is the S60 T6, with a base MSRP of $37,700. The car follows the script that new Volvo models have used for generations: Innovate with safety and technology, evolve the styling, and do the family proud. While our time with the S60 was brief, it served to whet our appetite for an S60 to visit the Autoblog Garage, something that's set to happen in the coming months. Stay tuned...

Photos by Dan Roth / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The best safety measures that Volvo took with this new car is the ability for pedestrians to look directly at it without their eyes melting leading them to wander blindly into the roadway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      yepper.. volvo are boring cars for people who cant drive!
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you have enough time for the system to sound an alarm, and then time-out on a response from the driver, the pedestrian must be pretty far away. In a more normal scenario, like a pedestrian darting out from between two parked cars, or a kid chasing a ball etc., there is hardly enough time for any of this to take place.
      I must also assume that the system will not activate if the passengers are not buckled-up. Can only imagine the law suits that would follow after the system activates and launches an unsecured kid into the dash board.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is not new technology, KITT was sporting this feature back in 1983. As he was programmed not to take a human life. The Foundation for Law & Government's patent is definitely being infringed upon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will the spread of these radar-based systems ultimately make good radar-detectors (like my Valentine One) essentially worthless? I know I've gotten some interference from some of the radar cruise controls...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kind of wished the demo video actually showed the system functioning.
      • 4 Years Ago
      this system would be horrible with a steaming hot curry on the passenger seat, unless it has a curry button (stopping the automatic brake thing)
      • 4 Years Ago
      When reading some comments you get the feeling that the writer expect the new security systems should replace the driver.

      None of the security systems means that the driver can relax and engage in other than driving. It is still the driver who has the full responsibility to manage and slow the car if necessary. What the security system add is to reduce the risk of a serious accident caused by driver distraction.

      The idea is definitely not that future Volvoowners can/should ignore to brake when a child runs out in front of the car!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm going to start a new urban sport. I'm going to call it Volvo stopping.
      Step 1 Find new Volvo
      Step 2 Walk in front of it.
      Step 3 Smile and laugh at frustrated driver.
        • 4 Years Ago
        except that when the car isn't equipped with it and you get run over 'll be the only one laughing
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another one of my concerns with this technology is it's durability. Will it still function accurately when the car is 15 years old? Can it work well in any conditions (extreme heat, heavy rain and wind, lots of snow)? The reason I ponder that is because I'm worried it will mistakenly apply the brakes when there are NO pedestrians crossing anywhere near the car. Anyway, its just a thought, thats all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How sensitive is it? Will it detect a raccoon or something and slam on your brakes getting you rearended therefore endangering both the occupants in your car and the car behind you? What about slick roads when avoidance might be better? Pretty soon we'll be driving nerf cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does the Volvo heartbeat sensor (tells you if someone is in the car) work if the car isn't running? This is indicated when you press a button on the Personal Car Communicator Key Volvo cars come with.
      If anybody want to know more about it so plz visit this link:-
      There is a lot off knowledge about this Product
      • 4 Years Ago
      So if people gonna hijack a car, Volvo S60 is the easiest car to jack. Or if u are chased by zombies DO NOT choose this car.
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