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Safety Award

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What Car? Awards 2012 website

Safety Award
Volvo
For Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake

It's easy to see how Volvo has become synonymous with safety. It has been at the forefront of key life-saving developments for decades, from the first seatbelts to the first automatic braking systems. It also examines real-world accidents in Sweden to collect data and better understand and improve its safety technology.

Volvo understands that reputations built on past glories dont stand for long, which is why it continues to advance safety with its award-winning Pedestrian Detection technology.

Available as an option on the S60, V60 and XC60, the new system uses radar and camera systems to scan the road ahead and pick out pedestrians.

It monitors the movements of each legitimate target, and if a pedestrian moves into its path and the driver doesnt take evasive action itll automatically brake the car. It can bring the car to a complete halt from 21mph, to avoid a collision entirely, or significantly reduce the impact speed.

In tests, it didnt confuse people with bollards or postboxes, and during development it was even able to pick out actors dressed as drinks cans to promote a brand of beer in the US.

The statistics tell us that if you hit a pedestrian at 40mph youll kill them nine times out of 10; hit them at 30mph and theyll survive nine times out of 10.

Whether someone stumbles into your path because theyre dressed as a beer can, or have had too much of its contents, driving a Volvo could make the difference between life and death for hundreds of people in the UK alone each year.

Volvo plans to ensure that no one is injured or killed in a Volvo by 2020, but this latest tech goes a long way to ensuring that few will be killed or injured by a Volvo long before then.