Vehicle-to-vehicle Volvo style to swing big in Europe

April 17, 2019 by Nancy Cohen, Phys.org
Hazard Light Alert demonstration on XC40. Credit: Volvo

Vehicle to vehicle communication is on auto industry minds as an important technology piece determining our safe driving future. Discussions around vehicle to vehicle "connected cars" are all about cars communicating with each other and the surroundings.

Volvo is winning attention over its announcement. Volvo is expanding connected car alerts across Europe, in a plan where connected-car technology will be on all 2020-model vehicles in Europe. Some older models can be retrofitted to use the tech. The safety technology lets Volvo automobiles share signals whenever one switches on its hazard lights to highlight potential obstructions, slippery roads or other dangers, said Autoblog.

"Next week [the announcement is dated April 15] the features become available to Volvo drivers across Europe. They come as standard on all new model year 2020 Volvos and can be retrofitted on selected earlier models."

The Advanced Mobility Project blog wrote that with information relayed to other vehicles equipped with the technology, approaching motorists can be alerted "of possible traffic slowdowns, slippery roads and other safety risks. Volvo says the vehicle-to-vehicle system is especially useful on blind corners and over the crest of hilly roads."

Andrew Krok, Roadshow, said the technology was installed in 2016 in some of its vehicles, but limited to Sweden and Norway. Now, everyone across Europe can take advantage of this tech. Supporters think this could help more people avoid accidents.

As in the news release, Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert were first introduced in 2016 on Volvo's 90 Series cars in Sweden and Norway. These features are to be available to Volvo drivers across Europe.

The Hazard Light Alert, said Autoblog, sends a signal to nearby Volvo cars connected to the cloud service whenever a driver in an equipped Volvo switches on the hazard lights. It serves as a warning for other drivers to help avoid potential accidents.

As its name suggests, Slippery Road Alert can make a driver aware of current road conditions and those on the road ahead. It anonymously collects road surface information from cars ahead. Drivers approaching a slippery road section are warned in advance.

In the US, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) said that "Connected vehicle technologies will provide drivers with the tools they need to anticipate potential crashes and significantly reduce the number of lives lost each year."

The other piece of this news is that Volvo, said Autoblog, announced it was making what it had learned about safety over more than 40 years of research, segmented by decade, publicly available in a digital library— for automakers to use. Volvo hopes this will lead to safer cars for everyone.

"Volvo also wants other automakers and researchers to make use of its own past research. In addition to expanding its V2V tech, Volvo announced Monday that it has opened a central containing all its past safety research. The research stretches all the way back to the 1970s and covers up through 2018," said Krok.

The company urged the car industry to use the central digital library in the interest of safer roads for all.

What about the safety risks posed by drunk ? Volvo announced that starting in the early 2020s, the company will install 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.

More information: www.media.volvocars.com/global … ry-roads-and-hazards

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