Volvo Car Corporation improves safety with communicating cars
Enabling vehicles to communicate with each other, and with the traffic environment, opens up fantastic possibilities. Vital information can be shared and exchanged – creating a safer and more comfortable drive.
This is why Volvo Car Corporation joined the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium together with other European automakers and suppliers. The aim is to have a common platform for CAR 2 CAR communication ready within five years.
“In the future we will have advanced exchange of vital information between vehicles such as their position, speed and direction,” says Erik Israelsson, Project Leader Cooperative ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) at Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo Car Corporation recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the members of the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium regarding the implementation of standardized technology for communication between cars from 2016 and onwards.
The aim is for inter-car communication to function between all cars, irrespective of make. Communication takes place via a wireless network (similar to WLAN) and utilizes existing systems such as the GPS navigation system. CAR 2 CAR has been granted a separate frequency so that cars within a given radius are automatically linked together and can exchange information about parameters such as their position, speed and direction. The installation of transmitters in the road infrastructure, such as road signs and traffic lights, further extends the communication network.
“There is considerable potential in this area as well as opportunities for many benefits in many spheres over and above road safety, such as a more uniform flow of traffic and additional comfort for road users,” relates Erik Israelsson.
A few examples of application areas for the new technology:
Green Light Optimum Speed Advisory
Via a transmitter in the traffic light, information is provided regarding the optimum speed for a car to maintain in order to pass through a succession of green lights, thus avoiding unnecessary braking for red. At red lights, the driver can also receive information about how long it will be before the light turns green.
Emergency Vehicle Warning
This alerts the driver to the presence of nearby emergency vehicles, allowing him or her to create free passage well in advance and without being taken by surprise. This can be of benefit in the evening and at night in urban areas where emergency vehicles use their sirens more sparingly out of consideration for nearby residents, and also if loud music is playing in the car.
Road Works Warning
This alerts the driver to road works. Construction vehicles and heavy equipment can transmit information to vehicles well in advance of the site. Drivers can thus receive information about changed speed limits and altered routes near the work-site. The system can also keep the driver informed about the remaining distance before the end of the long road-work zone.
Slow Vehicle Warning
Slow or broken-down vehicles in the roadway transmit a warning to other road users. Receiving information well in advance can cut the risk of unpleasant surprises in traffic and thus reduce accidents.
Traffic Jam Ahead Warning
This will alert the driver to traffic stops or tailbacks. Since vehicles to the rear are alerted that there is a stop further ahead, there is less of a risk of accidents.
The system will issue a warning about local bad weather such as heavy rain, hail, snowfall or icy roads.
CAR 2 CAR provides information about regular or temporary speed limits. This information is provided by communication units along the road that can pass on information about parameters such as road signs and their location on the route.
Emergency Electronic Brake Light
Vehicles that break down on the road create dangerous situations both for drivers and passengers in the stricken vehicle, as well as for other road users. CAR 2 CAR warns if a vehicle suddenly slows down.
Motorcycle Approaching Indication
Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and in order to improve safety CAR 2 CAR informs other road users if there is a motorcycle nearby.
Red Light Violation Warning
Traffic lights that communicate with cars make it possible to alert a driver who has not noticed a red light, for instance by activating a prominent sound and light signal in the car. This technology also makes it possible to warn a driver going through a green light if another vehicle is about to cross his/her path by mistake.
“When the system is fitted into future cars it will be of considerable benefit to drivers and next-generation infrastructure, and will help improve traffic safety,” says Erik Israelsson.
*The CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium is an organisation started jointly by a number of European car makers supported by suppliers, research institutes and other partners.
All-new Volvo V40 already boasts outstanding new features
Volvo’s all-new V40 premium five-door hatchback, recently launched in SA, is a clear indication of the hi-tech route in which Volvo is moving. Volvo is the most human-centric car brand in the motor industry and the new Volvo V40 is a clear example of how such features can make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable.
Some of the features available in the all-new Volvo V40 are:
Park Assist Pilot – making parallel parking easy
The new Park Assist Pilot makes parallel parking easy and precise by taking over and operating the steering wheel while the driver handles the gearbox and controls the car’s speed.
The all-new Volvo V40 can also be equipped with a rear park assist camera and park assist sensors front and rear.
Lane Keeping Aid – active help to stay on course
The new Lane Keeping Aid in the V40 helps the driver stay in the intended lane. This feature applies extra steering torque to the steering column when the car gets close to a lane marking and is about to leave the lane. The system is active at speeds between 65 km/h and 200 km/h.
As a first step Lane Keeping Aid applies gentle steering wheel torque to help the driver steer back onto the intended course. If the car leaves the lane, the technology generates a distinctive warning through a haptic vibration in the steering wheel.
Enhanced Blind Spot Information System – for better visibility
The V40 is the first Volvo to offer the enhanced Blind Sport Information System (BLIS), which is radar-based. The technology can now also monitor and alert the driver to rapidly approaching vehicles up to 70 m behind the car. Of course it still informs the driver about vehicles in the blind spots on both sides of the car.
Cross Traffic Alert – covering your back
Cross Traffic Alert uses the radar sensors at the rear end of the car to alert the driver to crossing traffic from the sides when reversing out of a parking space. This is especially helpful in tight and crowded areas where the side view might be limited due to infrastructure, vegetation or other parked cars.
Road Sign Information – an extra “eye” on the traffic environment
Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs in the instrument display. The forward-looking camera can detect speed limit signs as well as “no overtaking” signs. The road sign icon is shown until another sign is detected.
Active High Beam – more relaxed driving in the dark
The new Active High Beam technology in the Volvo V40 helps the driver utilise high beam more efficiently. It also offers automatic switching between high and low beam at the right moment.
The technology uses a forward facing camera together with sophisticated image processing to offer the driver the best possible visibility at night.
Adaptive Cruise Control & Distance Alert – keeping the distance
The all-new Volvo V40 can be equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which promotes comfortable driving by using radar to automatically maintain a set time gap to the car in front.
The driver sets the desired maximum speed and chooses a time interval to the vehicle in front. When the radar sensor detects a slower vehicle, the car’s speed is automatically adapted to match the vehicle in front.
The Queue Assist function on cars with automatic gearbox maintains the set gap all the way down to standstill, making this comfort-enhancing system extremely useful even in slow-moving queues with repeated starting and stopping.
Pedestrian Detection – unique in this class
Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake is a system that can detect if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of the car. If the driver does not respond in time, the car can warn and automatically activate the brakes. No other car in this class features a similar technology.
Pedestrian Airbag Technology – a world first
In order to mitigate the consequences if a collision with a pedestrian is unavoidable, the Volvo V40 features newly developed Pedestrian Airbag Technology, a world first. It works like this:
Sensors in the front bumper register the physical contact between the car and the pedestrian. The rear end of the bonnet is released and at the same time elevated by the deploying airbag.
The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised bonnet plus approximately one third of the windscreen area and the lower part of the A-pillar.
The raised bonnet and airbag will help reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries.
Collision Warning and auto brake – with full braking power
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is a further development of the Collision Warning with Auto Brake technology already introduced by Volvo Car Corporation. The all-new V40 can also detect, alert and automatically brake if the car risks colliding with another vehicle in front.
City Safety – now active up to 50 km/h
The all-new V40 is the first Volvo that features an upgraded City Safety system. This system is now active at speeds up to 50 km/h (previously 30 km/h). The car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops – or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast.
Driver Alert Control – detecting and warning tired drivers
Driver Alert Control is designed to detect and warn tired drivers. The system can also cover other situations where the driver is distracted.
Full set of crash safety features – including new knee airbag
The driver’s side is fitted with a new knee airbag. It is installed in the dashboard above the pedals and deployed together with the other airbags in the event of a frontal collision.
Personal Car Communicator
The V40 is available with a Personal Car Communicator remote that enables keyless drive. The remote can both transmit and receive signals, providing the driver with locking and alarm information. The positions of the driver’s seat and the door mirrors are stored in the memory when the car is locked.