Volvo C30 Electric awarded "Green Car of the Year" in China
More E-cars delivered to SIAC as Volvo Drive-E Action carries on
While the Shanghai International Automotive City Group (SIAC) marked its first anniversary of the electric vehicle (EV) campaign on July 20, 2012, Volvo Car Corporation delivered 15 Volvo C30 Electric cars to the City for pioneering open road test-drive project - EV100 Days. Meanwhile, Volvo C30 Electric was also awarded "Green Car of the Year" in China at the 4th China New Energy Mobility Summit in recognition of its world-leading safety and superb performance on the same day.
According to Freeman Shen, Senior Vice President of Volvo Car Corporation and Chairman of China Operations, delivering Volvo C30 Electric to SIAC and launching of public road test drives represents a solid step of Volvo Car Corporation in the process of promoting new energy vehicles in China, and as a result of Volvo's Drive-E corporate strategy which covers optimization of traditional combustion engines, and development of plug-in hybrids and electric ones.
"We feel honor yet responsibility to share our world-class know-how in new energy vehicles with China, our second home market, in joint efforts from regulators, suppliers and customers. We're confident to take a prominent role in China's safe and sustainable electrification development, making cars for a better life," said Freeman.
A fleet of 15 Volvo C30 Electrics to join SIAC's EV100 real road test-driving
As a substantial step forward since Volvo Car Corporation signed the MoU with SIAC last November on new energy vehicle demonstration and data collection, Volvo delivered 15 electric cars for public testing during the first anniversary of SIAC's EV campaign. A recruitment call was made for open road test-drive projects - EV100, a period of some three months in which qualified volunteer drivers can own and drive a Volvo C30 Electric.
The first group of pilot users include Ms Charlotta Holm Vestberg, Consular of the Swedish Consulate in Shanghai, and Mr Gao Yuan and Ms Ji Xueping, famous local TV anchors with Dragon TV.
"The handover and kick-off of public involvement is a milestone for Volvo Car Corporation's new energy vehicle move in China. We are really proud to introduce this great car to ordinary Chinese car users," said Freeman Shen.
By starting this project Volvo Car Corporation will be able to collect more data about the C30 Electric's performance on Chinese roads as well as the driving habits of Chinese consumers, by monitoring and analyzing operation of these cars. The company will in turn be able to translate the knowledge acquired during the project into future product development. The study will also provide a reference for mass promotion of electric vehicles in China and the development of next-generation electric vehicles.
During the project, Volvo Car Corporation will support local government's efforts in industrialization of new energy vehicles, providing technical supports, building infrastructures, promoting EV and used EV sales, car insurance, annual checkups, as well we road traffic management. Volvo Car Corporation will share with local government its experience in business operations and management of the new energy vehicle industry accumulated overseas.
C30 Electric carries on Volvo's Safety legend
In the second half of Volvo Cars China operations' Drive-E experience day, the 4th China New Energy Mobility Summit was held at SIAC. Influential speakers and nationwide press gathered to share insights into "Action towards a safe electrification". The occasion comes right after a recent launch of China National Energy Saving & New Energy Automotive Development Plan, and therefore drew wide attention.
Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development, Volvo Car Corporation delivered a keynote speech on Volvo's electrification strategy and technology roadmap, featuring Volvo's safe green cars with no compromise of performance, functionality and appearance, from normal Drive-E versions, V60 plug-in hybrids to C30 electric. "We are focusing on future development. China is crucial, so we're open and committed to develop green solutions with local partners here and around the world." Peter Mertens stated.
The summit awarded Volvo C30 Electric "Green Car of the Year" in China to recognize its uncompromising performance and world leading Safety.
Volvo awarded Vincentric 2012 Best Fleet Value in Canada
TORONTO, ON (July 11, 2012) - The first annual Vincentric Best Fleet Value in CanadaTM awards were announced today, with Volvo receiving three nods in the premium wagon and crossover segments. To determine the 2012 Vincentric Best Fleet Value in Canada awards, Vincentric analyzed over 1,700 vehicle configurations in 24 different lifecycle cost scenarios, using eight cost factors including depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost, and repairs. The lifecycle costs were measured in all ten provinces, with the resulting 3,000,000+ lifecycle cost measurements then reviewed to determine the winning vehicles.
"We are very pleased to receive these three awards from Vincentric," says Brad Painter, national marketing manager for Volvo Cars of Canada, "These accolades reinforce the fact that in addition to offering luxury and versatility, Volvo's XC range offers tremendous value."
Awarded for offering a cost efficient fleet line-up, each model in Volvo's XC range was honoured:
- Volvo XC60 3.2 FWD: Crossover, Compact, Premium
- Volvo XC70 3.2 AWD: Wagon, Premium
- Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD: Crossover, Mid-Size, Premium
"With the continued globalization of the automotive industry, we felt it was essential to analyze total cost of ownership of fleet vehicles in Canada", stated David Wurster, President of Vincentric. "We are excited to help Canadian fleet organizations better understand and evaluate Canada specific lifecycle costs to help make informed vehicle selections," he added.
Further information regarding all of the winners of the Vincentric Best Fleet Value in Canada awards for the 2012 model year and the Vincentric methodology is available at http://cts.vresp.com/c/?Vincentric/8b27370815/194f8b1771/e0037dbc1b.
Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 41 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. Volvo lead the list of luxury car brands in the 2012 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with winners including the Volvo C30, S60, S80, XC60 and XC90.
Volvo Car Corporation tackles changes in driving behavior with new safety systems
By developing several new high-tech safety solutions, Volvo Car Corporation is taking a major step toward its 2020 goal that nobody should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car.
A lot of intensive development work is under way by Volvo Car Corporation's safety experts to deliver on the vision that no Volvo cars are to be involved in collisions in the future. One step on the way is the 2020 goal is that nobody should be seriously injured in a new Volvo car.
"We are taking clear steps in the right direction. We have a number of research projects with the aim to develop technologies for future Volvo models," says Jan Ivarsson, Senior Manager Safety Strategy & Requirements at Volvo Car Corporation.
Many of the new technologies are tailored to the way drivers behave in the modern traffic environment. Today's drivers differ from yesterday's. For instance, surveys from three different research institutes in the USA reveal that modern drivers spend 25 to 30 percent of their time behind the wheel doing other things, such as focusing on mobile communication.
Drivers who make phone calls and who check their email and text messages are becoming increasingly common - and since these situations affect the driver's attention on the road, they have to be taken into account when developing new technologies.
"In the modern mobile society we bring our social lives with us wherever we go. The car is no exception. For us it's quite simply a matter of creating technology that provides the driver with the right support at all times," relates Jan Ivarsson.
Volvo Car Corporation's research focuses on three main areas: staying safely in the current lane, avoiding accidents at crossroads and junctions, and avoiding collisions with wild animals. The following research projects are currently under way:
- Autonomous Driving Support
- Intersection Support
- Animal Detection
Autonomous driving in traffic queues
Autonomous Driving Support helps the driver stay in his or her lane and follow the rhythm of the traffic if queues build up.
"Driving in slow queues is a monotonous and boring part of many drivers' everyday lives. Thanks to technology for autonomous driving, the car can help the driver comfortably and safely follow the vehicle in front," explains Fredrik Lundholm, Function Developer at the Safety Functions department.
Using data from a camera and radar sensors, the car can follow the vehicle in front (see the graphics and video). The engine, brakes and steering respond automatically. If the vehicle in front is forced to make a quick move because of an obstacle in the road, the driver is assisted by the steering system, which makes the car veer in the same direction.
"This function has considerable scope for making the driver's life easier. Our first generation of advanced technology focuses on driving in queues at low speeds. The car follows the vehicle in front in the same lane. However, it is always the driver who decides. He or she can take control at any time," says Fredrik Lundholm.
Automatic braking at intersections
Crossroads and junctions are the most complex part of the modern traffic environment. When many road-users cross each other's paths simultaneously and from different directions, all that is needed is a small mistake to cause a serious accident.
In the USA, 21.5 percent of all fatal accidents in 2007 occurred in intersections, and in 16 EU countries (excluding Sweden) the corresponding figure was 20.6 percent in 2006.
Mattias Brännström, PhD Active Safety Functions, is responsible for Intersection Support, a research project within Volvo Car Corporation in collaboration with the Department of Signals and Systems at Chalmers University of Technology. The system alerts and automatically brakes for crossing traffic when necessary (see the graphics and video).
"Intersection Support uses sensors to assess the entire traffic scenario. If a critical situation is registered, a decision to intervene is taken at lightning speed," explains Mattias Brännström.
He exemplifies this by drawing a queue of cars turning left at an intersection. When the light turns green one car after another turns left. Suddenly an oncoming car drives through the red light - and creates an immediate danger.
"In this situation, the turning car automatically brakes to avoid a collision. Intersection Support thus serves as a system that not only helps deal with the driver's own mistakes, but those of other road users too," explains Mattias Brännström.
He says Volvo Car Corporation's safety approach is about getting cars to behave like people. The sensors are the eyes, the computers are the brain and the brakes are the muscles.
"With our advanced technology we're trying to do the same thing that people would do in the same situation if they have time to react. We want to provide assistance in as many situations as possible," says Mattias Brännström.
In order to obtain the necessary data for the development of these systems, cars are driven hundreds of thousands of kilometers in various traffic environments the world over. After all, the system has to be equally capable of helping drivers in Bangkok and Vancouver - and in a way that is tailored to local variations in driving style and traffic intensity.
Animal Detection focuses on collisions with wild animals
Of course this collection of data is not restricted to urban environments. Out in the countryside and in more remote areas there are many serious collisions involving wild animals.
Accidents involving wild animals are a major international traffic problem. In Canada, about 40,000 such accidents leading to vehicle damage are reported every year. Sweden reported 47,000 animal collisions in 2010. Of these 7,000 were elk collisions. The conditions in Canada and Sweden are also found in Norway, Finland and Russia. In the USA, about 200 people a year are killed in impacts with wild animals, mostly with deer.
However, these official accident statistics do not reveal the whole truth. For instance, they do not include all those accidents in which a driver swerves to avoid an animal and instead collides with another vehicle or veers off the road. According to a University of Umeå study of accidents between 2003 and 2010, no less than 23 percent of fatalities occurred after drivers swerved to avoid elk in the roadway - and these figures do not show up in the official statistics of collisions with wild animals.
Volvo Car Corporation is now working on Animal Detection, a system that detects and automatically brakes for animals both in daylight and in the dark (see the graphics and video).
"The technology is a further development of our pedestrian protection system. Considerable attention has been focused on ensuring that the system works in the dark since most collisions with wild animals take place at dawn and dusk," explains Andreas Eidehall, Technical Expert Active Safety.
Accidents with wild animals often take place at cruising speeds. The aim is to reduce the speed of impact from about 100-110 km/h to below 80 km/h. Once speed drops below 80 km/h, the car's safety systems are effective and the risk of serious injuries is small. This requires the ability to detect the animal from a distance of about 30 meters.
Another important aspect is response time - the time lapse between object identification and system reaction.
"With advanced technology we can shorten the response time still further in order to enhance the system's effectiveness," says Andreas Eidehall.
The system is trained to recognize the shapes of animals and their movement patterns via a vast amount of collected data. The gathering of images of animals in motion takes place on a continuous basis. But since wild animals have in many respects mastered the art of staying out of sight, this is a complex process.
"There is a huge challenge in collecting data that helps us understand how we can detect what nature has done its best to conceal. The focus is on large animals since they cause the most damage and the most severe injuries. We have worked with elk and large stags, but have now also included horses and cattle. One future step will be the ability to detect smaller animals such as deer and wild boar," says Anders Eidehall.
Success requires cooperation
"Development of these technologies is progressing very quickly," Jan Ivarsson concludes. "And with steadily lower prices for sensors and other electronic components, it is our intention that these advanced solutions will in future be fitted to all our cars. Having said that, close cooperation with the relevant public authorities, insurance companies and other car manufacturers is also vital for achieving the vision of an accident-free traffic environment."