Volvo Cars begins first ever Australian tests for kangaroo safety research
Volvo Cars is developing kangaroo detection technology to solve one of the most costly causes of traffic collisions in Australia.
A team of Volvo Cars safety experts travelled to the Australian Capital Territory this week to film and study the roadside behaviour of kangaroos in their natural habitat. The data Volvo Cars collects will be used to develop the first ever kangaroo detection and collision avoidance system.
According to the National Roads & Motorists’ Association (NRMA) there are over 20,000 kangaroo strikes on Australian roads each year costing over AU $75 million in insurance claims. The human cost of serious injuries and fatalities from animal collisions is incalculable.
To help address this Volvo Cars is developing a unique system that uses radar and camera technology to detect kangaroos and automatically apply the brakes if an accident is imminent.
“Whereas Volvo Cars’ Pedestrian Detection technology is geared towards city driving, our kangaroo detection research is focusing on highway speed situations,” said Martin Magnusson, Senior Safety Engineer at Volvo Cars. “Kangaroos are very unpredictable animals and difficult to avoid, but we are confident we can refine our technology to detect them and avoid collisions on the highway.
“In Sweden we have done research involving larger, slower moving animals like moose, reindeer and cows which are a serious threat on our roads. Kangaroos are smaller than these animals and their behaviour is more erratic. This is why it’s important that we test and calibrate our technology on real kangaroos in their natural environment.”
“The Volvo Cars City Safety technology is a true state-of-the-art technology, because the brakes can be primed in milliseconds - much faster than a human reacts,” Martin Magnusson said. “We are only at the beginning of what is possible.”
Volvo Car Australia Managing Director Kevin McCann said that research into kangaroo detection technology is one of the latest focus areas aimed at realising Volvo Cars’ vision that no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.
“This type of technology is not designed to take responsibility away from drivers. If the driver is inattentive the car will warn him or her and eventually intervene with hard braking to avoid a potential collision,” added Martin Magnusson.
Volvo Cars is conducting its kangaroo detection research this week at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra. Canberra is one of the nation’s hotspots for kangaroo collisions.
Volvo XC90 Awarded Top Honours in Women’s World Car of the Year
Luxury SUV Named Overall Winner as well as Winner of the SUV-Crossover Category
Richmond Hill, ON. October 26th, 2015. The all-new XC90 continues to receive global acclaim, and has been named the 2015 Women’s World Car of the Year. Awarded the Supreme Trophy, the 7-seat luxury SUV was named best SUV-Crossover in the first round of balloting and was also named the overall winner following a second round of voting.
The Women’s World Car of the Year is voted on entirely by women, with judges spanning 13 countries. The judges are made up of automotive journalists who assess each vehicle based on experiences and knowledge while maintaining a women’s perspective from a vehicle purchasing standpoint.
VOLVO CARS CELEBRATES 60 YEARS IN NORTH AMERICA WITH HOLLYWOOD STARS AND CARS
ROCKLEIGH, NJ and HOLLYWOOD, CA (October 26, 2015) – Swedish automaker Volvo celebrated 60 years in North America with a special gathering of celebrities and vintage cars at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood last Saturday night.
Comedian and vintage Volvo owner Jay Leno entertained a crowd of more than 300 Volvo owners, executives, retailers, and media amongst an unprecedented collection of new and historic Volvo cars, live music, and Scandinavian fare.
Notable cars on display included a 1928 PV4, Volvo’s first covered car; a 1955 PV444, the first Volvo exported to the U.S.; the 1967 P1800S driven by Roger Moore in the hit sixties’ television series, “The Saint”; and the all-new, award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle.
Guests explored Volvo’s rich past and bright future by visiting a series of Volvo branded shops created in the facades on Paramount’s City Streets back lot.
In the Volvo Cars Art Gallery, for example, was a collection of Julius Shulman-inspired photos starring Volvos past and present taken recently by Ann Street Studios at iconic locations around Los Angeles, where the very first Volvo was imported in 1955. Shulman was an American architectural photographer whose work spread California mid-century modern around the world.
Guests perused the collection of vintage Volvo advertisements in the Volvo Cars History Museum, and in the Bowers & Wilkins Listening Room, audiophiles appreciated the high technology powering the 19-speaker, 1,400 watt entertainment system available in the all-new XC90 sport utility.
“Volvo has had a special place in many Americans’ hearts for generations,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. “Maybe they grew up riding in a Volvo, or were saved by one, or perhaps they learned to drive in one. Whatever the case, we are celebrating those experiences and now our version of luxury for generations to come.”
Volvo Cars is benefitting from a recent investment of $11B that is being used to develop an entirely new lineup of luxury vehicles. The company has experienced nine months of consecutive year-over-year growth and is aiming to increase sales to 800,000 cars globally in the medium term.
Iconic Volvos displayed at 60th Anniversary Event
1928 PV4 Special - Volvo's first saloon car appeared in the summer of 1927, not long after the company was founded. There are believed to be just four PV4s remaining out of 694 built.
1955 PV444 - The first Volvo to roll on American roads made its entry in 1955. In September of that same year a stunning maroon coupe with whitewall tires was unveiled to the public in the Swedish pavilion at the California State Fair & Exposition in Sacramento. Many more would follow, including this one.
1957 Volvo Sport (P1900) – This sporty, chic convertible paved the way for the more popular and now very collectible P1800. Volvo Founder Assar Gabrielsson commissioned the California-based company Glasspar to make prototypes of the Sport’s fiberglass body. Only 67 units were made with just 20 sold in the U.S.
1967 P1800S - In 1961 Volvo introduced this new sports car and made an indelible mark on the auto world. With Italian-influenced styling and a peppy 100 horsepower engine, the U.S. quickly became the car’s biggest market. No prior Volvo created a greater impression, and perhaps none has since. The P1800 got an extra boost because of its role in the sixties’ TV series "The Saint" starring Roger Moore, who played hero Simon Templar. The exact car he drove in the series was on display.