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Volvo Part of European Study Highlighting Benefits of Safety Technology

July 05, 2012

BRUSSELS – The final report from the EuroFOT research project, which has brought together 28 European companies and organizations, confirms that Volvo Car Corporation's systems, which help drivers avoid incidents and collisions, deliver significant benefits.

A car with adaptive cruise control and collision warning, for instance, cuts the risk of colliding with the vehicle in front on a motorway by up to 42 percent.

The large-scale European Field Operational Test on Active Safety Systems (EuroFOT) is a research project supported by European funds. It involves 28 organizations, including Swedish participants Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Trucks, and Chalmers University of Technology.

One hundred Volvo V70 and XC70 models with a total of 263 drivers participated in EuroFOT. All cars were fitted with cameras and sensors that registered every second of every journey for 18 months, which meant that every little incident and situation could be studied and evaluated.

These cars supplied Volvo Car Corporation's safety experts with 30 terra bytes of data from 3 million kilometers of driving. The final report from EuroFOT also includes material from other vehicle manufacturers.

"The analyses show that our world-leading focus on new safety and support technologies delivers results in everyday traffic conditions. Since the start of EuroFOT, we have presented a number of new systems and in addition refined already existing technologies. One example is Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, which alerts the driver and automatically brakes the car if there is a pedestrian in the road," said Peter Mertens, senior vice president of research & development at Volvo Car Corporation.

Analysis of the Volvos used in EuroFOT focused on five technological solutions:

  • ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) maintains a preset gap to the vehicle in front.
  • CW (Collision Warning) alerts the driver if a collision of colliding with the vehicle in front is imminent. At the same time, the brakes are prepared for firm braking.
  • BLIS (Blind Sport Information System) alerts the driver to vehicles in the blind spots on both sides of the car.
  • LDW (Lane Departure Warning) warns the driver if the vehicle accidently strays across any of the lane markings.
  • DAC (Driver Alert Control) is designed to detect and warn if the driver is tired or distracted.

The final report from EuroFOT clearly shows that adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning enhance traffic safety. The benefits are greatest on the motorway, where the risk of driving into the vehicle in front is cut by up to 42 percent.

Adaptive Cruise Control is used on the motorway for more than 51 percent of the total distance covered. Eighty percent of them feel that progress on the road is more comfortable and convenient, and 94 percent feel safer with the system activated, according to Volvo.

When it comes to collision warning, 70 percent of the drivers feel that it improves the level of safety.

The trend is also positive in other warning systems, which focus on tired drivers, lane keeping, and vehicles in the blind spot. However, there is not yet enough data to provide statistically significant forecasts of the accident risk reduction, according to the study.

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