This includes the road edge and barrier detection with steer assist. A feature that detects if the car is about to drive off the road and autonomously applies steering torque to bring the vehicle back on track. Being able to monitor where the physical road ends is a world first. This means that the technology also works on roads without side markings. This requires access to the CAN-based in-vehicle networks (IVN). Another feature is the adaptive cruise control with steer assist. This technique helps the driver stay in the lane and follow the rhythm of the traffic. The car follows automatically the vehicle ahead. The CAN-based IVNs transport steering commands from the ECU collecting and processing the radar sensor values to the steering ECU.
Road edge and barrier detection with steer assist
Studies showed that many accidents happen in uncritical traffic situations and good weather conditions due to driver distraction, drowsiness or illness. Approximately 25 per cent of all accidents in Volvo Cars’ statistical accident database are accidents with an initial road departure. Two out of three of these occur on roads with speed limits of 70 km/h or more. In Sweden, road departures cause 53 per cent of all traffic fatalities and 42 per cent of all severe injuries. Half of all traffic fatalities in the United State are road departure accidents (source: NHTSA).
Road edge and barrier detection with steer assist helps the driver avoid accidental road departures. The technology detects if the car is about to drive off the road and autonomously applies steering torque to bring the vehicle back on track. “The autonomous steering intervention is designed to help the driver avoid road departures, which often have very severe consequences. More than half of all traffic fatalities in Sweden are caused by single vehicle accidents,” said Thomas Broberg. A forward-looking camera and radar cooperate to monitor the road edge and different kinds of road barriers. The technology acts immediately if the driver shows signs of unintentionally drifting too close to the road edge. “Being able to monitor where the physical road ends is a world first. This means that the technology also works on roads without side markings,” says Thomas Broberg.
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with steer assist
A car with ACC and collision warning cuts the risk of colliding with the vehicle in front on a motorway by up to 42 per cent (source: Euro-FOT study 2012). Slow-moving traffic is part of urban commuting. The average American spends more than 100 hours a year commuting to work, according to the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey. That is more than the average two weeks of vacation time (80 hours) that many Americans have per year.
ACC with steer assist helps the driver stay in the lane and follow the rhythm of the traffic. “Distraction and inattentiveness are the most common cause of accidents in modern traffic. This technology makes driving safer and more relaxed in monotonous stop-and-go traffic,” explained Thomas Broberg. ACC with steer assist is an evolution of the current ACC and lane keeping aid techniques. The ACC enables safe, comfortable driving by automatically maintaining a set gap to the vehicle ahead, at the same time as the steering is controlled automatically.
The driver activates the ACC with steer assist by pushing a button. Using data from a camera and radar sensors, the car can follow the vehicle in front. The engine, brakes and steering respond automatically. “Making the car automatically follow the vehicle ahead in the same lane is the first step towards cars driving autonomously. However, the driver can always override the system and take back control of the car at any time,” said Thomas Broberg.
Pedestrian detection in darkness
The XC90 model 2014 will also provide pedestrian detection in the night. The electronic will detect and brake autonomously, when pedestrians or cyclists are in danger. According to Strada (Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition), 44 percent of all the pedestrian fatalities occurre in darkness, at dusk or dawn. In the United States, the traffic fatality rate is three to four times higher in darkness (source: VTI). Volvo Cars was the first in the industry with detection and auto brake technologies, from the first-generation brake support in 2006 to Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake in 2010 and the latest technology Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection in 2013. “The camera technology in today's cars works at dusk and dawn, but it is limited when driving at night. Now, we cover the whole span from dusk to dawn by a smarter and faster high-sensitive camera combined with advanced exposure control,” said Thomas Broberg.
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