For decades now,
has been staking its claim in the automotive landscape by being the safety brand. And honestly, that's smart marketing. When a family (especially a young family) goes car shopping and safety is high on their list of concerns, tying your product to their desire to see their children live is a good way to move metal. Problem is, the car world has changed considerably since Volvo first started making bones about being four-wheeled life preservers 25 years ago. All cars are pretty safe these days. Some are even safer than Volvos. So how do you stand out from the pack? Keep innovating.
Which is precisely what Volvo's doing with their new City Safety system. Essentially, using some fairly sophisticated radar technology (see above) Volvo is able to pick out pedestrians from other objects like cars and trees. Nifty, huh? And quite similar (and ironic) to how the the Terminator viewed his surroundings. Sadly, it would seem when the system encounters a mother pushing a baby carriage, it identifies the mother as more important. Though that's probably win-win as long as the car doesn't hit either. Point is, should the Volvo get too close to a human, on clamp the
for a full, computer-controlled stop.
This radar tech is actually very closely related to the system
is using for active cruise control, blind spot warning and parking lot avoidance alerts on the new
(which, coincidentally, is based on a Volvo platform). We got to see a behind the scenes peak at the
radar system on the launch and what you're looking at is essentially what Ford showed us, though cranked up a notch. There's a video of the next
running the system
after the jump
, as well as a machine-translated story explaining it all (kinda).
Tip of the hard hat to Joakim.