Insurance organisation Thatcham praises Volvo's new auto-brake function
In mid-February, the English organisation Thatcham arranged a demonstration for the media, insurance companies and government agencies of three new technical innovations that can mitigate or prevent low-speed accidents.
The one that made the greatest impression on the organisers as well as on observers from the press, insurance companies and government agencies was Volvo City Safety, which will be a standard feature on the new Volvo XC60.
No less than 75 percent of all collisions occur at speeds of 30 km/h (20 mph) or lower. At present, there are already a number of manufacturers who are in the early stages of developing automatic brake functions that reduce damage or even prevent an accident from taking place. The English organisation Thatcham (The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre), which conducts research and development to promote safer cars, invited together with the German insurance association (GDV), representatives from the English, German and Spanish press, insurance companies and government agencies to a demonstration of three selected new technologies. One of them was Volvo City Safety.
"We were contacted by Thatcham, who offered to arrange a demonstration of City Safety. It is naturally extremely gratifying for us when a third party confirms the great potential of the City Safety function," says Thomas Broberg, technical advisor at Volvo Cars' Safety Centre.
Two other auto-brake systems were presented: one from Mercedes and one from Honda but it was Volvo City Safety that made the greatest impression on both organisers and observers alike.
"All three systems offer increased protection and Volvo's system in particular impressed everyone with its autonomous function and because it intervenes at the last possible instant and can completely avoid a collision," says Matthew Avery, head of research at Thatcham.
Volvo City Safety is technology that has been developed in-house to provide automatic braking at speeds under 30 km/h (20 mph) and will be standard on the Volvo XC60. Together with Collision Warning with Autobrake, which is already available, City Safety means that Volvo offers an auto-brake function at all speeds. Volvo Cars is engaged in a dialogue with insurance companies in Europe, Canada and the United States about the possibility of offering lower premiums on cars fitted with City Safety.
"The system will have a great effect on the number of low-speed collisions - in England and in the rest of the world," says Matthew Avery during the demonstration.