All-new Volvo S80 - Preventive Safety
Advanced driving systems contribute to increased safety margins
The all-new Volvo S80 has a new generation of advanced driving and support systems that interact intelligently, contributing to safer driving and greater comfort.
"The best way to protect the car occupants is to avoid accidents. This was one of the most important starting points when Volvo Cars set about producing the new S80 model. To achieve the company's uncompromising safety objectives an entirely new generation of advanced driving and support systems was developed, some of which have been presented previously as prototypes.
"The basic principle for our preventive safety systems is that they should not take over the driving or the driver's responsibility," says Silvia Güllsdorf, S80 Project Director at Volvo Cars. "The aim is to help the driver to make the correct decision in difficult situations by issuing a warning and in different ways indicate how to deal with the situation."
Driver Alert Control (DAC)
Studies show that up to 90 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by driver distraction.
Volvo Cars addresses this by introducing Driver Alert Control. The system aims to alert the driver when his or her concentration level is affected, for instance during long journeys.
Driver Alert Control monitors the car's movements and assesses whether the vehicle is being driven in a controlled or uncontrolled way. This method is unique among vehicle manufacturers and it is very reliable.
From a technical viewpoint, Driver Alert Control consists of a camera, a number of sensors and a control unit.
The camera, which is installed between the windscreen and the interior rear-view mirror, continuously measures the distance between the car and the road lane markings. The sensors register the car's movements. The control unit stores the information and calculates whether the driver risks losing control of the vehicle.
If the risk is assessed as high, the driver is alerted via an audible signal. In addition, a text message appears in the car's information display, alerting him or her with a coffee cup symbol to take a break.
What is more, the driver can continuously retrieve driving information from the car's trip computer. The starting-point is five bars. The less consistent the driving, the fewer bars remain.
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Lane Departure Warning is activated via a button in the centre stack and it alerts the driver with a gentle warning sound if the car crosses one of the road markings without an obvious reason such as use of the turn indicator.
The system also uses a camera to monitor the car's position between the road markings. LDW steps in at 65 km/h and stays active as long as the speed exceeds 60 km/h.
LDW helps prevent single-vehicle road departure accidents as well as head-on collisions due to temporary distraction. Volvo Cars' researchers estimate that the LDW system can help prevent 30 to 40 percent of these types of accidents at speeds between 70 and 100 km/h.
Lane Departure Warning and Driver Alert Control will be part of the same option package, called Driver Alert System. It is available in the S80 from the end of 2007.
Collision warning with Auto Brake (CWAB)
Rear impacts represent a third of all reported accidents - and in more than 50 percent of these accidents, the driver doesn't brake at all.
Collision Warning with Auto Brake is a refined warning system that initially warns the driver and pre-charges the brakes. The brakes are automatically activated if the driver doesn't act when a rear-end collision with a moving or stationary vehicle is imminent. The new system is available in the Volvo S80 from the end of 2007.
Collision Warning with Auto Brake has an elevated technology level compared to the Collision Warning with Brake Support that was introduced in 2006.
While the original system is radar-based, Collision Warning with Auto Brake uses both radar and a camera to detect vehicles in front of the car. The long-range radar reaches 150 metres in front of the car while the camera range is 55 metres.
By using Data Fusion to combine information from the radar and the camera, the system becomes more efficient.
One of the main advantages of the camera is the possibility of detecting stationary vehicles and warning the driver while maintaining a low false-alarm level.
If the car approaches another vehicle from behind and the driver does not react, a red warning light flashes in the head-up display on the windscreen. At the same time, an audible signal can be heard. This helps the driver react and an accident can be avoided in most cases.
If the risk of a collision increases despite the warning, the brake support is activated. To shorten the reaction time the brakes are prepared by the brake pads being placed against the discs. The brake pressure is also reinforced hydraulically, ensuring effective braking even if the driver does not press the brake pedal particularly hard.
If the driver doesn't brake and the sensor system determines that a collision is imminent, the brakes are activated.
Auto Brake is designed to lower the impact speed as much as possible and thereby reduce the risk of injury to the occupants of both vehicles. A reduction in collision speed from 60 km/h to 50 km/h, for example, gives approximately 30 percent less impact energy. This can mean the difference between a serious injury and minor consequences for the occupants.
Depending on the circumstances, it is also possible that the Auto Brake can help avoid the impact entirely.
Adaptive cruise control
In order to help the driver stay a safe distance behind the vehicle in front, Volvo Cars has developed Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). This system should primarily be regarded as a comfort function but it does also contribute to more controlled progress if the rhythm of traffic is uneven. Using a radar sensor, the adaptive cruise control continually monitors the gap to the vehicles in front and automatically adjusts the car's speed to ensure that this gap does not shrink too much.
The driver activates the cruise control by setting a desired speed between 30 and 200 km/h and then selecting the minimum time gap to the vehicles in front. There are five different time gaps to choose between.
Distance Alert (DA)
Distance Alert is another new comfort feature that helps the driver keep a proper distance to the vehicle in front even when the Adaptive Cruise Control is disengaged.
Distance Alert is activated via a button in the centre console. As with ACC, the driver can choose between five settings. If the time gap to the car in front becomes shorter than the selected value, the driver gets visual information in the head-up display on the lower part of the windscreen.
If Distance Alert is engaged and ACC is activated, the DA system is temporarily disengaged.
Both ACC and Distance Alert are tailored to help the driver comfortably follow national regulations regarding the required distance to the vehicle in front.
Advanced information systems contribute to better driver control
The all-new Volvo S80 is also equipped with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) and IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System), two systems that will help the driver to maintain better control over the driving situation.
With the aid of cameras beside the door mirrors, BLIS registers if another vehicle is in the blind spot alongside the car. In such a situation a warning light beside the mirror is activated to alert the driver and improve the scope to make the correct decision.
IDIS is an electronic information system that contributes to the driver not being distracted by unnecessary information in stressful situations. By continuously checking certain functions in the car, such as wheel movements, movement of the accelerator pedal, indicator control and braking, IDIS can assess the complexity of the situation. The information is processed and at a certain level any information that is not crucial to safety, such as an incoming telephone call or a text message, is delayed.
Active Bi-Xenon Light - swivelling headlights
To produce an optimal range of vision when driving in the dark on winding roads, Volvo Cars has launched the Active Bi-Xenon Light - swivelling headlights that follow the bends in the road. A mini-processor is used to measure and analyse a number of parameters and optimise the light to suit the situation. The headlights can be swivelled by up to 15 degrees in each direction, totalling 30 degrees, and thus have the capacity to illuminate a longer distance when the road is winding. To save wear on the system, this function is disconnected automatically in daylight.
To help reduce the risk of blinding oncoming road users the angle of the headlights is adjusted depending on how heavily the car is loaded or if it is accelerating or braking.
The headlights are cleaned by means of an electro-mechanical, high-pressure system that washes one headlight at a time, always offering the best possible light.
Brakes with new, advanced brake functions
The all-new Volvo S80 has a highly advanced braking system with several new functions that interact to ensure the shortest possible braking distance in all situations.
HYDRAULIC BRAKE ASSIST (HBA) is a new generation of Volvo's panic brake assistant. It helps the driver to brake in the shortest possible distance in an emergency. As opposed to earlier systems, which are based purely on vacuum, the braking pressure is also reinforced hydraulically. In an emergency situation where the driver does not press the brake pedal sufficiently hard, HBA helps to ensure the ABS system is used optimally and the braking distance shortened.
OPTIMISED HYDRAULIC BRAKES (OHB) reinforces the braking capacity in conjunction with hard braking by using hydraulics to compensate for low vacuum pressure in the brake servo.
READY ALERT BRAKES (RAB) can predict rapid braking and place the brake pads against the brake discs even before the driver presses the brake pedal. In doing so, the braking system's reaction time - and braking distance - is shortened. The signal to the braking system could be that the accelerator pedal is released quickly or that the Adaptive Cruise Control registers an obstacle in front of the car.
FADING BRAKE SUPPORT (FBS) uses hydraulics to gradually build up the braking pressure in conjunction with persistently hard braking to help reduce the risk of wear and retained pedal feeling.
Personal Car Communicator - world first with a heartbeat sensor
In an increasingly insecure world it is important to have control over what is happening around you, particularly when travelling by car.
"Personal security is one of the cornerstones of the Volvo safety profile," says Silvia Güllsdorf. "It is about having your car left undisturbed and avoiding situations that could entail personal risk."
Together with the all-new Volvo S80, the Personal Car Communicator (PCC), an advanced, pocket-sized control function, was also being launched. It provides information which in certain situations could be crucial to the security of the car owner.
The Personal Car Communicator is surprisingly like a normal remote control but can do a great deal more than activate locks and alarms. By simply pressing a button the car owner can within a few seconds acquire information about...
... whether the car is locked or unlocked...
... whether the alarm is activated or not...
... whether the alarm is activated and if there is someone in the car, which is registered using a highly sensitive heartbeat sensor and an advanced calculation process.
The information is accessible and relevant as long as the distance between the PCC and the car is within approximately 100 metres. However, the most recent information is stored so that at any time and in any place a check can be made to see if the car was actually locked when it was parked.