New car technology will intervene if driver is drunk or distracted

Mar 21 2019, 1:17 pm

A new innovation in in-vehicle technology means that soon enough, cars will be able to detect if a driver is drunk or distracted.

And they will intervene if danger is imminent.

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Volvo Cars has just revealed a new step in its ambitions to end fatalities in its cars by addressing the issues of intoxication and distraction.

The company believes intoxication and distraction should be addressed by installing in-car cameras alongside other sensors that monitor the driver. If a driver doesn’t respond to warning signals, the vehicle will get involved.

That intervention could involve limiting the car’s speed, alerting the ‘Volvo on call assistance service’ and even slowing down and safely parking.

Volvo Car Canada Ltd.

“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” says Henrik Green, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.

“In this case, cameras will monitor for behaviour that may lead to serious injury or death.”

These types of behaviour include a complete lack of steering input for extended periods of time, drivers having their eyes closed or off the road for extended periods of time, as well as dramatic weaving across lanes, or excessively slow reaction times.

Introduction of the cameras on all Volvo models will start on the next generation of Volvo’s scalable SPA2 vehicle platform in the early 2020s.

Details on the exact amount of cameras and their positioning in the interior will follow at a later stage.

This new innovation aligns with the company’s choice to limit the top speed on all its cars to 180 kph from model year 2021.

Volvo Car Canada Ltd.

Additionally, the company revealed the Care Key. This system allows drivers to impose limitations on a vehicle’s top speed from model year 2021, before lending their car to someone else.

The monitoring cameras, speed limit implementation and Care Key, all serve to support safer driving, according to Volvo.

What a time to be alive.