Volvo Cars has been honoured with the prestigious Paul Pietsch Award 2009, given by the reputed German automobile journal "auto motor and sport", for its innovative safety system, City Safety. Volvo City Safety is a new driver assistant system which can prevent rear-end collisions typical of low speeds or at least reduce significantly the damage caused by the accident. City Safety is standard in Volvo XC60.
Stephen Odell, president and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation, accepted the award in Stuttgart on Thursday. Odell expressed his thanks for the award during the ceremony.
"We are proud to receive this award because it stands for technical developments which represent a lasting change in the automotive world. The further development of automotive safety has been of great significance to Volvo for decades and is an important pillar of our corporate philosophy," he said.
"We will not lessen our dedication in this sector because we want to maintain our leading position among automobile manufacturers worldwide when it comes to safety in the future as well," emphasised Odell.
Pedestrian protection is coming
As a sign of its determination, Volvo is working on the realisation of further innovative safety systems. Odell mentioned, for instance, a radar in combination with an advanced camera system for pedestrian protection which was recently introduced at the presentation of the Volvo S60 Concept and which is expected to make a major contribution to accident prevention.
The editor-in-chief of "auto motor und sport", Bernd Ostmann, pointed out the importance of the new development during the award ceremony:
"The jury of the Paul Pietsch Award regards Volvo's braking assistant, known as City Safety, to be a groundbreaking system which will make it possible to reduce substantially the inner city accident figures. The current version of City Safety has as its primary aim the prevention of rear end collisions between cars. Another positive aspect was that this system is being offered as a standard feature in every Volvo XC60."
Volvo City Safety provides more safety especially in inner city traffic and in typical stop-and-go situations, and is active at speeds up to 30 km/h. It uses an optical laser for the continuous monitoring of the traffic. For example, City Safety recognises a sudden braking by the vehicle in front of the car. If the driver does not react and is about to drive into the car in front, the system automatically triggers an emergency stop.
System functions day and night
If the relative speed between the two vehicles is less than 15 km/h, a collision is avoided completely. In the range between 15 and 30 km/h, the first priority is to reduce the collision speed as far as possible, minimising the consequences of the accident. Safety is further in enhanced by the interaction of the system, which functions both day and night, with the electronic management devices for the airbags and adaptive belt force limiters.
The Paul Pietsch Award has been handed out for innovative automotive developments since 1989 and includes an endowement of €12,500.00. One of the requirements is that the new technology must already be available in series production. The editorial staff of "auto motor and sport", in cooperation with 21 international partner journals, chooses the recipient of the award.
Volvo Cars will use the cash prize to promote safety awareness of children in Germany. The company will work together with the workgroup Sicherheit in Strassenverkehr (Safety in Traffic) to develop a joint project which will be conducted primarily at elementary schools.