Volvo Cars says it plans to install “in-car cameras and other sensors” to monitor the driver and allow the vehicle to intervene if a “clearly intoxicated or distracted driver” does not respond to warning signals.
The announcement is the latest step in the Swedish brand’s ambitions to end fatalities in its cars. This comes after it revealed plans to limit the top speed of its new vehicles to 180 km/h.
The aforementioned “intervention”, says Volvo, could involve limiting the car’s speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistance service and, as a final course of action, actively slowing down and safely parking the car.
“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president for research & development at Volvo Cars.
“In this case, cameras will monitor for behaviour that may lead to serious injury or death.”
Examples of such behaviour, the firm says, include a complete lack of steering input for extended periods, drivers who are detected to have their eyes closed or off the road for extended periods, as well as “extreme weaving” across lanes or “excessively slow” reaction times.
The 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 number of cameras and their positioning in the interior will follow at a later stage.