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Volvo devises Driver Alert System to keep the weary and distracted on the road

Posted in Car Tech, Volvo by will bee | August 29th, 2007 | 4 Responses |

Volvo Driver Alert System

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 target 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 message 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.

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4 Responses

  1. Brad says:

    I thought I had seen something very similar to this in the Concept for a few of the new Infinitys as well. While it seems like a good idea and is a good start in the right direction, I don’t see this as being an overly effective system. The LDW is a good idea and hopefully will at least get people to start using their turn signals more. I’m sure its designed for highway purposes with an activation speed of 40mph and with State laws most highway lanes are clearly marked off. Reading the article it states there are many situations where this technology would not be available, but at least they are trying. The only other comment I could add is that out of the 90%, how many are due to a front end collision with a car or other object in front of the car, which this technology does not alert to? How about a camera in the front of the vehicle that looks out say a maximum of 250 feet, which lessens at lower speeds (based on speed and stopping times) and detects immobile objects. Allowing it to give you a warning if you’re coming up on an object which isn’t moving and you aren’t applying the breaks before it would be too close to point of impact. Who wants to buy my idea?

  2. Dee says:

    Wow Brad.. you’re full of surprises and ideas. As long as a system like you’re describing is able to have an on/off function, it’s a good suggestion. I would eventually get annoyed by the alerts whether it’s a buzz or flashing interior lights if it has high sensitivity. That will only distract me more. It all depends on the driver I suppose.

  3. Brad says:

    It will definitely be interesting to see how their technology does in the real world with every day drivers. One thing that confuses me is how a text message on the dash is suppose to help you pay attention to the road. As well the Erratic Driving Meter that starts at 5 bars and decreases. At 3 tells you its a good idea to pull over with the suggestion of coffee. What happens if you continue to drive, does it continue to decrease to 2 and 1 bars, or none and if thats the case… what happens then? I vote a hand comes out of the steering wheel and slaps you… but then again I also suggested the audible noise be an airhorn.
    As for the annoyances with their system with the dings and blinks and flash and go-away-nows. I would assume its designed that if you’re driving correctly, you won’t notice it.
    As for my system, it wouldn’t really have an on and off but more so be toggled by if you’re applying the breaks (or in this case not applying them), and your speed to distance ratio of the object in front of you. It would have to be a finely tuned and calibrated system and more than likely need to be updated when you get regular car maintenance done to ensure its accuracy. It wouldn’t be perfect in the event of someone slamming on their breaks or break checking you if you’re riding their bumper but if you’re coming up on stopped traffic and aren’t otherwise paying attention (which is the general idea behind Volvo’s Technology) you could be alerted and perhaps even lightly apply the breaks to slow you down, to give you an advantage on the reaction time. However as Mr. Bee stated… that would lead towards a technology of cars driving us around, instead of us driving them. I’m sure we’ll see the day, at least in some areas.

  4. Dee says:

    Hehehe.. so many gadgets and things to play with in the future. I do enjoy driving my car without help of technology or a computer. I don’t know what I would do if I was about to react, such as braking, and my car took over within seconds of me.. would take some getting used to. But your car won’t know what type of driver you are.. whether offensive, defensive, speed demon, maniac, slow poke, bumper riding bastard or hells on wheels.. would my car adjust to my driving? Could it possibly make a better driver out of us all if we have it’s assistance? We all drive different.. the new generation of drivers out on the road would make better adjustment to such devices than people that have been driving for many years.

    Soooo when will I see your ideas and suggestions on digits? Hehe.. I would have to drive a vehicle with such and test it out.. I like testing.. test drives are fun..

    Technology is taking a great part in cars and it’s a good thing..