Volvo XC60 safety demonstration goes awry

Driver Thought Car Had Pedestrian-Detection System; It Didn't

When it comes to automotive safety technology, Volvo has long been an undisputed industry leader. The company has pioneered autonomous platooning for trucks, developed the world's first pedestrian airbags, and pledged to eliminate traffic deaths in its cars by 2020.

So it almost seems unfair that one of the most bone-headed incidents that involves automotive safety technology comes from Volvo.

As you'll see in the video above, a Volvo salesperson recently attempted to demonstrate the XC60 City Safety system to a group of prospective car buyers. What the dealer didn't understand was the safety system, which helps avoid or mitigate collisions, doesn't detect pedestrians.

A pedestrian-detection system costs an additional $3,000, and this car wasn't equipped with one. Nobody realized that until the driver of the XC60 plowed into two onlookers.

It isn't clear exactly where or when this accident took place, but Volvo acknowledged the mishap occurred at one of its dealerships, and says the victims of this accident weren't seriously injured. The company notes the "self-stopping car accident" title on this YouTube video is inaccurate.

"All in all, there was nothing wrong with the car itself," company spokesperson Stefan Elfström tells Autoblog. "The unfortunate incident happened only due to human error."

While the employee behind the wheel was at fault, the accident could be one of the first caused by the increasingly complex interactions between automated systems and humans in vehicles. In a world where some cars have adaptive cruise control and some only have forward-collision alerts, for example, motorists will need to be cognizant of both the abilities and limitations of these systems on every car they drive.

Related Video:

Volvo Trucks: Automatic All-Wheel Drive Demo

Volvo XC60 Information

Volvo XC60

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