Volvo will launch a raft of new safety systems at the Frankfurt motor show on September 11.
All the systems will be available as options on the V70 estate, XC70 off-road estate and S80 executive car at the end of the year.
Driver Alert Control
Volvo is claiming that its Driver Alert Control (DAC) is the first of its kind in the world.
Although other car manufacturers have systems that monitor whether a driver is tired or not concentrating, it's the way it works that Volvo says is unique - instead of monitoring the driver, the system monitors the car's behaviour.
The advantage of this is that it allows the DAC to cover a broader range of situations, such as when the driver is using a mobile phone or is distracted by passengers.
It uses a camera mounted between the windscreen and rear-view mirror, sensors and a control unit to measure the distance between the car and road lane markings and register the car's movements.
If the car is not being driven in a controlled, consistent manner, the driver is alerted by an audible signal.
A message and coffee-cup symbol also appear in the information display to urge the driver to take a break.
In addition, a display system consisting of five bars shows the driver how much he may need a break, depending on how many bars are on view - the less consistent his driving, the fewer bars remain.
Lane Departure Warning
According to Volvo, 30-40% of accidents are caused by single-car road departures and head-on collisions.
To reduce this, Volvo has developed its Lane Departure Warning system (LDW). Although this isn't new to cars, it is new to Volvo.
It uses the same forward-facing camera between the windscreen and rear-view mirror as DAC (above) to monitor the car's position between road markings.
If a driver crosses one of the road markings without cause (for example, if the indicators aren't used), an audible warning will sound.
Both DAC and LDW are activated when the car reaches 40mph and will remain active as long as the car travels above 37mph.
The two systems are available together for £500.
Collision with Auto Brake
This system is a development of an existing safety feature. What's new is that the previous system used only radar, but the new one now combines the use of radar with the camera between the windscreen and rear-view mirror.
This makes it more efficient, and also allows it to detect stationary vehicles.
If the car is approaching another vehicle from behind and the driver does not react, a red warning light flashes on the head-up display and an audible signal sounds.
If the risk of collision increases despite these warnings, the brake support is activated - this shortens the reaction time by placing the brake pads against the discs to prepare for braking.
The brake pressure is also increased hydraulically at this time, so that the brakes will come on effectively even if the driver doesn't brake particularly hard.
If the driver still doesn't brake, and the sensor detects that a collision is imminent, the brakes are automatically activated.
The system is designed to lower the impact speed and therefore lower the risk of injury to the occupants of both vehicles.
This can mean the difference between serious injury and minor injury, and in some cases can help avoid the impact altogether, says Volvo.
Volvo has also introduced a new element to its Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system.
It's called Distance Alert (DA), and is designed to help the driver maintain a safe distance to the car in front, even if the cruise control system is not switched on.
It uses the ACC system's radar sensors to measure the distance to the car in front, and if the distance is too short for safe stopping, the driver gets visual information in the head-up display on the lower section of the windscreen.
DA is being offered together with Collision Warning with Auto Brake for £1300.
• All of these new systems - DAC, LDW, DA and Collision Warning with Auto Brake - depend on the number and quality of visible road markings, says Volvo. Poor light, fog, snow or extreme weather conditions can make the systems inoperative.
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