There are so many features on today's Volvo that is hard for the experts to keep up. Volvo safety innovations and new electronic gadgets require a dictionary to explain.
|BLISS||Blind Spot Information System||Volvo's active safety research continues to impress. The company's new Blind Spot Information System now recognises cars and motorcycles with a camera-based monitoring system that keeps a watchful eye on the 'blind' area alongside and offset rear of the car. The company has always focussed on improving blind spot vision becoming the first car maker to fit wide-angle door mirrors in 1979. The new BLIS will be offered as an option on XC70 wagon, S60 sedan and V70 wagon available in Australia in 2005. When another vehicle (motorcycle, car or truck) enters this zone - an area of 9.5 metres by 3.0 metres - a yellow warning light comes on beside the appropriate door mirror in the driver's peripheral view. The driver is thus given an indication that there is a vehicle very close alongside. This visual information gives the driver added scope for making the right decisions in such driving situations. A digital camera is installed on each door mirror. This small camera captures 25 images per second, and by comparing each frame taken, the system is able to recognise that a vehicle is within the BLIS zone. The system's software is programmed to identify cars as well as motorcycles, in daylight and at night. Since BLIS is camera-based, it has the same limitations as the human eye does. This means the system will not function in conditions of poor visibility, for instance in fog or flying snow. If that happens, the driver receives a message that BLIS is not in action. BLIS is configured not to react to parked cars, road barriers, lampposts and other static objects. The system is active at all speeds above 10km/h. It reacts to vehicles that are driven a maximum of 20km/h slower and a maximum of 70km/h faster than the car itself.|
|Collision Warning System||"Collision Warning with Auto Brake and Cyclist and Pedestrian Detection" is an aid to assist the driver when there is a risk of colliding with a pedestrian, cyclist or vehicle in front that are stationary or moving in the same direction.|
|Pedestrian Warning System|
Technology of the Year: Volvo Pedestrian And Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake. Long a pioneer in auto safety (the first company with seat belts, after all), Volvo introduced a new system this year that recognizes both pedestrians and bicyclists ahead of the car to alert and avert collisions. Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake alerts drivers to impending collisions and if the driver does not respond to the alert, the system can stop the car to avert or minimize a major impact. This system, voted an AOL Autos finalist for Technology of the Year by the judges, builds upon one that Volvo has had for many years that focused on vehicles in front of the Volvo's path called Auto Brake. Now, with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, a radar unit assesses the speed of objects and works with a fast-acting camera that serves to profile the size and shape of the objects. It continually monitors movements, trajectories and profiles of objects. Profiling for safety, if you will.
If the system calculates that contact is imminent, a red warning illuminates in front of the driver. If the driver does react to the warning, the system stands down. If the driver does not react to the warning, full braking pressure is engaged autonomously and sufficient to engage the anti-lock braking system. It doesn't guarantee accident avoidance (no such system does) but it will lessen impact severity and could completely avert an impact.
Most significantly, Volvo offers Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection across the 2014 line as standard equipment. It's part of Volvo's overriding vision of keeping occupants safe should danger befall them and ultimately, working towards averting all crashes and impacts.
"One million Volvos with [the original] Auto Brake on the roads take us toward our aim that nobody should be killed or suffer serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020," noted Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo.
|SIPS||Side Impact Protections System|
The SIPS system works by having a reinforced lower sill, b-pillar and energy absorbing honeycomb materials inside the doors. The idea is to more widely distribute the energy in a side collision across the whole side of the car rather than having the B-pillar absorb it all. Driver and passenger seat are mounted on transverse steel rails, not bolted to the floor as per the standard configuration. In a side impact these transverse rails allowed the seats to crush a reinforced center console designed to absorb additional energy.
In 1994 for the 1995 model year, the 'SIPS-Bag' was released for 850 models. Initially an option, it became standard equipment of all new Volvo cars beginning in 1995. The system consists of a mechanically activated airbag that protects the torso from hitting the cars interior. In 1998 two additions were made to the SIPS system. With the launch of the 1998 Volvo S80 the IC airbag, a curtain style airbag deploying from the headlining to protect the head, was introduced. It has since been installed on all newly released Volvos.
|WHIPS||Wiplash Protection System||Whiplash Protection System, is a system to protect against automotive whiplash injuries introduced by Volvo in 1998. It was launched when the Volvo S80 was released for the 1999 model year and has since been part of the standard equipment of all new Volvo cars. A WHIPS equipped seat is designed so that the entire backrest helps to protect the front occupant's neck in a case of a rear impact. When the WHIPS system is deployed, the front seat backrests and headrests are lowered backward to change the seating position of the driver and front seat passenger. The main energy is absorbed via a pivot at the base of the seat – mechanism which allows the seat to move around the occupants actual hip joint while moving rearward to absorb additional energy. A piece of metal inside the backrest hinge deforms, absorbing more energy. The hinge piece needs to be replaced after having been deployed.|
According to Volvo's traffic accident research team, the WHIPS equipped seat resulted in a 33% reduction in short term injury and a 54% reduction in long term whiplash injuries caused by car accidents