Volvo has devised a road monitoring system designed to keep the tired and distracted on the road. Their motivation is a step toward prevention so that maybe all the safety features they fill there cars with will not be necessary. Volvo’s targetÂ is the 90% of accidents that are caused by an unalert driver (where the acquired that percentage is unclear). So starting here at the end of 2007 Volvo will begin to install their Driver Alert System in their V70, XC70, and S80 models.
The system begins with a camera resides between the rear-view mirror and the windshield. The entire system is activated at 40-mph and has two separate alert systems: Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Driver Alert Control (DAC). The camera and multiple sensors work together with both systems to alert a tired driver if they are at risk of leaving the road and if they have made a sudden or unplanned lane change.
To warn the drivers the Driver Alert System will make an audible noise to gather the drivers attention and also a text messageÂ on the dash. Next to the text message on the dash is a Drivers Alert scale that begins at 5 bars and decreases as the system detects an erratic driving pattern. When the scale reaches 3 bars it will give a Coffee Mug signal to indicate that it might be best to take a break from driving.
Volvo’s Driver Alert System is indeed the first of its kind and stands a chance of helping to prevent drivers from losing control. Ofcourse if you are just a bad driver who makes sudden lane changes and likes to do your make-up at 70-mph Volvo’s alert system will probably drive you insane with its frequent noises. Otherwise Volvo is making a great first step toward preventing accidents, if not toward a day when our cars drive us around and full on manual driving is a thing of the past (oh, how I will rue the day).
You can read Volvo’s entire press release for the Driver Alert System over at Carscoops.