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Volvo piles on safety systems in new XC90

Intersection braking and run-off road protection top XC90 new technologies list

Published: August 4, 2014, 5:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:33 PM

Volvo collision mitigation for animals

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Anybody even vaguely interested in cars will know that Volvo vehicles have an extensive list of safety features and the company has an even longer history of safety developments.

Its latest vehicle — a reworking of the XC90 sport utility —features the full suite of Volvo safety initiatives and includes a couple new ones.

City Safety is one of the systems Volvo has developed and fine-tuned over the past several years, with each new model joining its stable.City Safety basically scans the road ahead for other road users — other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, pets, what have you — and offers a handful of technologies to make it safer for everybody. Among its notable technologies is collision mitigation which can prevent a collision to a speed of up to 50 km/hand can lessen the severity of the collision at speeds in excess of that. Now,other manufacturers offer similar systems but Volvo’s works in darkness, while many others don’t.

Things like cross traffic alert are also included, but the new XC90 will feature a new technology called intersection braking.Intersection braking will stop the vehicle completely in those instances when oncoming vehicles don’t cooperate (because you don’t see them or, in many cases, when they don’t see you or are fully aware of your intentions) as you’re both attempting to occupy the same road space.

The other new technology is actually something used outside cityscapes — run-off road protection. The Volvo suite of safety items already includes detection of driver drowsiness and lane-keep assist (which gently draws the car back into a lane, if it appears it’s drifting). Now Volvo is adding extra occupant protection in those cases when the vehicle does drive off the road (due to emergency manoeuvres or the above scenarios on a sharp bend).The system will cinch up the seatbelts to snuggly keep people in their seats, fire airbags to keep them from bumping into pillars or posts, retract pedals to keep legs from harm, and allow up-and-down play in the seat to minimize spinal compression injuries.

Volvo claims both of these items will make the new 2015 XC90 (the second generation of the SUV) the safest vehicle on the road. It is due for public unveiling at October’s Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris and goes into production at the end of 2014.