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By 2020 : Volvo Cars Will predict accidents BEFORE they happen

Segun Balogun



Cars will predict accidents BEFORE they happen: Volvo system plots ‘escape routes’ to avoid crashes

  • Volvo claims its next-generation cars will be equipped with computers that have a 360-degree view of surroundings
  • If an accident is likely, the car can find an alternative route, brake or steer
  • The technology also plans movements up to five seconds in advance
  • Volvo said it hopes to eliminate all road fatalities in its cars by 2020
  • Tesla today announced its lastest sedan will have a safety feature that will move car over a lane when the driver uses turn signal

According to  Wired , Volvo wants to stop anyone from getting seriously injured or killed in its new cars by 2020, but advanced air bags and blind-spot warning systems can only go so far. It needs cars that can detect, predict, and avoid trouble, all on their own.

The automaker is openly moving toward self-driving cars, and now it’s announced a new feature that will help it get there. In a few years, its cars will be equipped with computers that have a 360-degree view of their surroundings, constantly scanning and evaluating what’s going on, and how to react if there’s trouble.

The “centralized Sensor Fusion framework” links on board cameras, radar, lidar, GPS and more. It was developed by the Non-Hit Car and Truck Project, a four-year partnership between Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks (they’re totally separate companies, the passenger car shop is owned by China’s Geely), and a few technology suppliers and universities. The goal was to reduce accident risks for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

Dailymail also reported that Air bags, mirrors and sensors can only do so much to prevent deaths as a result of a dangerous driving.

Now Volvo has developed a technology that, it claims, could eliminate road fatalities in its cars by 2020.

The Swedish group claims that by the end of the decade, its next-generation cars will be equipped with computers that have a 360-degree view of their surroundings.

Volvo Cars Will predict accidents BEFORE they happen


Fobo Tire uses four sensors to monitor the pressure of each Tyre sending information to any Android or iOS device using Bluetooth

Tyre pressures can now be checked remotely with a simple monitor which sends alerts and updates directly to your mobile.

Fobo Tire uses four sensors to monitor the pressure of each tyre, sending information to any Android or iOS device using Bluetooth 4.0. 

The Malaysia-based team behind Fobo Tire say drivers can fit the sensors in less than five minutes by screwing them on top of each Tyre valve.

This enables readings to travel via Bluetooth to both smartphones and the in-car unit.

The gadget can then monitor up to 20 cars simultaneously and share readings with friends and family – a useful feature if one car has more than one driver. 

The entire set is also locked to a specific cloud account so any stolen pieces of equipment cannot be reused.

The gadget  was put on crowd funding website Indiegogo on September 1 but it has already surpassed it’s target of £17,500 ($28,100). 

One Fobo Tire set comes with four tyre sensors, one in-car unit and a free Fore tyre app to be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store

The kit costs £91($146) and will be ready for shipping in November.

The system, which is still at least five years from hitting showrooms, can detect potential accidents before they occur, even if they’re outside the driver’s line of sight. If an accident is imminent, the car can determine an “escape route” and auto-brake and even steer the car to avoid the accident. It’s the high-tech equivalent of Sylvester Stallone in that horrible movie Escape Plan: Always looking for a way out of trouble.

The technology can identify different types of road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles—an important ability because they all act differently, at varied speeds, in different parts of the road. Scenarios are anticipated up to five seconds in advance, with alerts sent to the driver. If he doesn’t respond in time, the car takes action on its own.

According to Jordan Golson at Wired, the technology is similar to that used in Volvo Trucks, but this system is only used to alert the driver rather than carry out severe avoidance manoeuvres.

Volvo Cars Will predict accidents BEFORE they happen
The automated accident-avoiding tech is “imperative for the development of self-driving cars, which will be able to automatically steer and brake to avoid collision with any object in any situation,” says Anders Almevad, project manager for the Non-Hit Car Project. “Our primary objective is to focus on different types of accident scenarios.”Volvo Cars Will predict accidents BEFORE they happenThe technology pictured was developed by Volvo’s four-year Non-Hit Car and Truck Project, which will be drawing to a close in December

For Volvo Trucks, the technology is similar, but the application is different. Driver visibility in big rigs is more limited—and more important—than in automobiles. “Trucks are a different type of vehicle,” says Mansour Keshavarz, systems engineer at the company. “Their sheer size prevents them from carrying out severe avoidance maneuvers.” So, no Stallone-inspired escapes, just an extra focus on anticipating crashes before they happen.

Many drivers are (rightly) concerned about the consequences of filling our highways with robots who take over human work loads. This Volvo system, which sits somewhere in-between fully automated and driver-controlled cars, is the kind of half-step that will encourage public acceptance of self-driving vehicles. Given that some 30,000 people die in car crashes in the U.S. every year (to say nothing of the rest of the planet), this technology brings us closer to the day when we sit in our robot-controlled cars and wonder in amazement how people ever drove themselves.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jenna Matthews

    October 18, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Well I hope that’s not going to be seconds before the accident.

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