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Data sharing for greater safety on the road


Data sharing for greater safety on the road

Ian Kerr

Did you know that Volvos can now talk to each other?

No, they’re not gossiping about which drivers indicate before turning, or who wears a hat. New technology allows Volvo cars to communicate with each other and alert drivers of nearby slippery road conditions and hazards via a cloud based network.

Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert were first introduced in 2016 on Volvo’s 90 Series cars in Sweden and Norway. Next week the features become available to Volvo drivers across Europe.

“Sharing real-time safety data between cars can help avoid accidents.” - Malin Ekholm, head of Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

Safety research by Volvo shows that adjusting speeds to the road conditions reduces the risk of accidents. Connected safety technologies can support better driver behaviour and boost traffic safety by alerting people to dangers ahead in a timely manner and allowing them to adapt with time to spare.

Implications for the delivery sector

Professional delivery drivers share the road with passenger vehicles, and anything that means greater safety for passenger vehicles means increased safety for other road users.

So while there is a direct benefit to those driving connected Volvos, overall there should be a reduced incidence of accidents, including accidents involving professional delivery drivers.

“The more vehicles we have sharing safety data in real time, the safer our roads become.” - Malin Ekholm, Volvo

According to Volvo, sharing such data in real time can provide a strong boost to overall traffic safety - and as more cars are connected the greater the benefit to everyone. Since last year, Volvo Cars and Volvo Trucks have shared data to alert drivers of nearby hazards in Sweden and Norway.

How it works

As soon as any equipped Volvo switches on its hazard lights, the Hazard Light Alert sends a signal to all nearby Volvo cars connected to the cloud service, warning drivers to help avoid potential accidents.

Slippery Road Alert increases the driver's awareness of both current road conditions and those on the road ahead, by anonymously collecting road surface information from cars further ahead on the road and warning drivers approaching a slippery road section in advance.

Oh… and that thing about speed limiting

From 2020, all Volvos will be speed-limited at 180 kph. So if you want to hoon along the autobahn in your Volvo, get in quick.

But speed limiting isn’t the only example of machine monitoring man that Volvo will implement. The company will will soon start installing in-car cameras and other sensors that monitor the driver and allow the car to intervene if a clearly intoxicated or distracted driver is risking an accident involving serious injury or death.

Will these systems intervene if the driver is naturally incompetent? Who knows… but it’s another example of how technology is making its presence felt in the driver’s seat.

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