Volvo vehicles to pull themselves over if being driven drunk

Volvo vehicles to pull themselves over if being driven drunk

If a driver is deemed to be intoxicated or distracted (or perhaps overly exhausted, though this is not explicitly mentioned), the technology could limit the car's speed, alert the Volvo on Call assistance service and "as a final course of action" stop and safely park the vehicle. The Swedish firm divided opinion among drivers earlier this month, when it announced it would be capping the maximum speed of its new cars from 2020, limiting them to 112 miles per hour. Three-point belts thus quickly spread worldwide, which Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson told journalists "has probably saved over one million lives, not in Volvos only but in all brands".

A crash test of a Volvo XC 90 vehicle is presented at the Volvo Cars Safety Center in Gothenburg, Sweden, March 20, 2019. In the case that a driver seems impaired, the vehicle could react by reducing its speed or alerting the Volvo on Call support service.

Aside from all of the potential safety benefits, the Care Key (standard from 2021) is also likely to offer Volvo drivers a financial benefit. However, as internal research of Volvo Cars has found out, the injuries received in traffic accidents are often gender-specific. A vehicle could detect a lack of steering input, extreme lane weaving, and slow reaction times, and take a look at the driver's eye movement.

If the vehicle decides that its owner is intoxicated, it will dial Volvo's call centre where an adviser will speak to the driver.

Volvo plans to add sensors capable of detecting drunk driving in its vehicles.

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Apart from speeding, which the company aims to help combat with a top speed limit, intoxication and distraction are two other primary areas of concern for traffic safety. However the auto maker has plans to help improve the safety of other firms' vehicles, if they're interested.

Intervention if the driver is found to be drunk, exhausted or distracted by checking a mobile phone could involve limiting the car's speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistance service, or slowing down and parking the auto, it said.

In the 1980s, Volvo Cars started to focus on side impacts, after its data showed that too many people were injured in such accidents due to the short distance between impact and occupant.

Trent Victor, Volvo's senior technical leader crash avoidance, is part of the team trying to eliminate crashes.

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