City Safety, Volvo Cars’ in-house developed technology for avoiding low-speed collisions, has received the American “Traffic Safety Achievement Award” at this year’s World Traffic Safety Symposium in New York.
And in a research report after recent tests at the Thatcham Centre in the United Kingdom, Volvo Cars’ City Safety system was referred to as “perhaps the most significant new technology available in the near future” when it comes to collision avoidance.
“City Safety is yet another example of Volvo’s aim to utilise real world traffic situations to develop solutions to prevent accidents. It is extremely gratifying that we are now being acknowledged with this prestigious award,” says Jonas Ekmark, head of preventive safety at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre at Gothenburg, Sweden.
At this year’s World Traffic Safety Symposium held at the New York International Auto show, a panel of experts consisting of traffic safety specialists from institutions such as the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rewarded various developments that reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on American roads.
Volvo’s safety feature, City Safety, made a huge impression on the jury members owing to its ability to prevent or lessen the severity of collisions at low speeds, thus reducing the risk of personal injuries and damage to vehicles.
Volvo will be the world’s first to install City Safety as standard equipment in a vehicle. Launched later this year, the XC60 is Volvo’s first car to have this system.
Approximately 75% of all collisions are at speeds less than 30 km/h. In 50% of cases the driver does not even brake before the collision and the reason is usually insufficient concentration.
If the vehicle in front brakes suddenly and City Safety assesses that a collision is imminent, the brakes are prepared for action.
If the driver does not take action, the car is braked automatically. At speeds less than 15 km/h City Safety can entirely avoid accidents, at speeds between 17 – 30 km/h the system applies brake force to reduce vehicle speed and help reduce occupant injuries and vehicle damage.
“With City Safety, we hope to eliminate whiplash injuries, to both vehicles involved in typical city driving low speed accidents along with eliminating vehicle body damages,” says Ekmark. “Even with just reducing vehicle speed, this system will help to reduce the consequences of low speed impacts. The potential for reducing the risk of both personal injuries and car bodywork damage makes City Safety highly interesting from an insurance perspective.”
“Volvo Cars is currently involved in negotiations with several insurance companies in Europe who are considering an insurance premium discount of up to 30% for cars equipped with City Safety,” says Ekmark.
Independent Thatcham tests proves City Safety efficiency
At the United Kingdom’s Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, or Thatcham, as it is widely known, the Volvo City Safety system was subjected to a collision avoidance efficiency test – which led to the headline The car we couldn’t crash on their research newsletter.
The main aim of Thatcham, an independent, non-profit organisation, is to carry out research targeted at containing or reducing the cost of motor insurance claims, whilst maintaining safety and quality standards.
“Perhaps the most significant new technology available in the near future is the low speed avoidance system from Volvo – City Safety. This unique system is designed to chiefly address the most common crash type, the low speed ‘fender bender’,” says Thatcham in its report. Their conclusion is: “The potential for the reduction of whiplash injuries and damage to repair costs is considerable.”