Volvo Achieves NHTSA and IIHS Standards 11 Years Ahead of Schedule
Today the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced an agreement between major automakers to make Automatic Emergency Braking standard on vehicles by 2025, something Volvo has been doing since 2014.
“Automatic Emergency Braking is a critical part of our Vision 2020, which states that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President & CEO of Volvo Car USA, “thousands of Volvo owners have already realized the benefits of this technology.”
In January 2016, a report conducted by IIHS showed that City Safety, which includes Volvo’s Automatic Emergency Braking function, reduced rear-end collisions by 41% and injuries to occupants by 47%.
Volvo continues to develop new safety technologies and make them standard in order to achieve the company’s Vision 2020. Recent technologies include:
- Large Animal Detection with Automatic Braking, a world first safety innovation, will warn the driver about large animals entering the roadway and stop the vehicle to avoid an accident. This technology will be on the 2017 S90 and XC90
- Cyclist and Pedestrian with Automatic Braking provides advanced warning and automatic braking when cyclists or pedestrians are present in the vehicle’s lane of travel. This feature is available on all Volvo models.
- Intersection Auto Brake debuted with the 2016 XC90 and is another world-first safety technology that prevents a Volvo driver from steering into oncoming traffic at an intersection via automatic braking.
More information about Volvo’s safety innovations can be found here.
Volvo Cars calls on automotive industry to standardize electric car charging
Volvo Cars believes the global automotive industry should strive towards the introduction of a standardized charging infrastructure for electric cars, says Dr Peter Mertens, the company’s Senior Vice President for Research & Development.
To support this drive towards a global standard for electric car charging, Volvo Cars has decided to throw its weight behind the Charging Interface Initiative, a consortium of stakeholders that was founded to establish their Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging battery-powered vehicles.
Volvo Cars is one of the leading makers of plug-in hybrid cars and will offer a plug-in hybrid variant on every new model as it replaces its entire product portfolio in the coming years. It will introduce a fully electric vehicle by 2019, based on its modular SPA vehicle architecture.
In order to cement the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and ensure that customers fully embrace the technology, Dr Mertens argues that a simple, standardised, fast and global charging infrastructure is needed.
“We see that a shift towards fully electric cars is already underway, as battery technology improves, costs fall and charging infrastructure is put in place,” said Dr. Mertens. “But while we are ready from a technology perspective, the charging infrastructure is not quite there yet. To really make range anxiety a thing of the past, a globally standardised charging system is sorely needed.”
The Combined Charging System, which will offer both regular and fast charging capabilities, makes electric car ownership increasingly practical and convenient – especially in urban environments which are ideal for electric vehicles.
It combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging, using alternating current at a maximum of 43 kilowatts (kW), as well as direct-current charging at a maximum of 200 kW and the future possibility of up to 350 kW – all in a single system.
The Charging Interface Initiative is currently in the process of drawing up requirements for the evolution of charging-related standards and certification for use by car makers around the globe.
“We are very happy to support and be involved in the setting of standards for electric vehicle charging systems. The lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles’ share of the market,” said Dr. Mertens.
Volvo Cars, which has a rich heritage of research and development in electric vehicles stretching back over 40 years, is one of the leading car makers in the field of plug-in hybrids with its Twin Engine technology. Already now, one in five of all Volvo XC90s sold is a T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid.
“Our Twin Engine technology offers the low emissions, silence, convenience and performance of a pure electric car, combined with the range of a conventional powertrain. It offers the benefits of electrification already today,” added Dr. Mertens.
Nordic model offers the rest of world a template for autonomous driving: Volvo CEO
Sweden’s famed Nordic Model, which brings together the public sector, private sector and academia, provides a template for the rapid introduction of autonomous driving technologies worldwide, Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, will say at a seminar on autonomous driving in Sweden this week.
“Autonomous driving has the potential to revolutionize car safety. This technology saves lives. AD also improves traffic flows, enhances air quality and saves people time. This technology should be introduced as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to get everyone involved working together at the earliest opportunity,” Mr Samuelsson will say.
Mr Samuelsson’s comments will be made at a high level seminar in Stockholm on March 10 at the Swedish parliament entitled ‘A Future with Self Driving Cars – Threat or Opportunity?’, which will bring together Volvo Cars, Autoliv, the Swedish car safety supplier company, Chalmers, the leading Swedish technology and engineering university, leading commentators on AD technology and senior Swedish politicians.
Mr Samuelsson will welcome moves by regulators and car makers in the US and Europe to develop AD cars and infrastructure, but he will encourage all the parties involved to work more constructively together to avoid patchwork regulations, technological duplication and needless expense.
“AD is not just about car technology. We need the right roads, the right rules and the right laws. We also need to ensure AD technologies are harmonized as much as possible to avoid unnecessary development costs, so that an AD car in the US is as safe and as legal as an AD car in Europe or Asia,” Mr Samuelsson will say.
Both Europe and the US have made important strides towards encouraging AD technologies. But the EU remains hamstrung by individual responsibilities to its 28 members while the US is similarly constrained by the potential for all 50 US states to introduce their own AD regulations.
Sweden has enjoyed a long tradition of functioning relationships between the public and private sectors, something that has enhanced productivity, avoided industrial disputes and led to the rapid and effective introduction of rules, regulations and infrastructure to support new technologies. This system has become known as the Nordic Model
“It is natural for us to work together,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “Our starting point is that both the public and private sectors stand to benefit from new technologies and industries, so it is better to build bridges and work together than to all go in different directions.”
Volvo Cars is working with public and private sector partners on the world’s largest and most advanced public AD technology project entitled ‘Drive Me’, which involves 100 real Swedish families in Gothenburg using AD cars on real roads.
Volvo is currently working alongside Autoliv, Chalmers, the national Swedish government and the local government in Gothenburg on this project.
“From the outset we knew that we could not do it alone,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “We needed to bring partners on board. Our motivation for doing so is simple. This is a technology that can save lives, clean the air, make cities less congested and free up time for people. Who would not want that in place as soon as possible?”
Volvo has been leading the when it comes to the regulation of autonomous driving. Mr Samuelsson stated in the US last year that Volvo will accept full liability whenever one if its cars is in autonomous mode, making it one of the first car makers in the world to make such a promise.
Volvo regards autonomous driving as a key element in drive to implement its Vision 2020, which states that by the year 2020, no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo.