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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Saturday - January 17, 2009

Autmotive Autopilot gets one step closer

Idiot Drivers Rejoice!



Volvo Brings “City Safety” technology to market

Does system allows for “safe” tailgating?




Add this to the self parking Lexus technology, along with the amazing sensor arrays built in to today’s cars, plus the whole “wired” thing with the GPS, DVD, iPod, LoJack, etc., that already exists. Will self directing cars be that far in the future? Tell your dashboard where you want to go, and the car drives itself. At the most efficient speed of course, but also driving around traffic and potholes, while reporting your position and blood alcohol content to the government every 15 seconds. Because driving a car is such an unpleasant and difficult thing, and you might speed or waste gas by excessive idling. It’s for your own good you know. But for now we’ll sell you your loss of freedom incrementally, and we’ll do it in the name of safety and convenience. And you’ll clamor for it, every step of the way.



Volvo has announced more innovative safety technology – a unique ‘City Safety’ system that could help drivers avoid 50 per cent of all rear-end, low speed accidents that often happen in urban environments or slow moving traffic. Statistics reveal that 75 per cent of all reported collisions occur at low speeds of up to 30 km/h (18.7 mph). The Volvo system, called ‘City Safety’, is active up to 30 km/h and keeps a watchful eye on traffic up to six metres in front of the car with the help of an optical radar system integrated into the upper part of the windscreen. If a car in front suddenly brakes or is stationary, the system will automatically pre-charge the brakes to help the driver avoid an accident by slowing down in time, or steering away from a potential collision. However, if a collision is imminent, the system will activate the car’s brakes automatically.

“The system offers benefits to all involved. For the occupants of the car in front, the risk of whiplash injuries is avoided or reduced, plus it can help reduce or even eliminate the cost of repairs to both vehicles,” says Ingrid Skogsmo, director of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

The system runs a calculation 50 times per second to determine what braking speed is needed to avoid a collision based on the distance to the object in front and the car’s own speed. If the calculated braking force exceeds a given level without the driver responding, the danger of a collision is considered imminent and ‘City Safety’ helps avoid or reduce the consequences of a collision by automatically activating the car’s brakes and reducing the throttle.

The ‘City Safety’ system works equally well day or night, but will have the same limitations as any other radar systems, so can be limited by fog, mist, snow or heavy rain. If the sensor on the windscreen is obscured by dirt or snow the driver is alerted via the car’s information display.

“It is important to emphasize that the system does not absolve the driver from driving with adequate safety margins in order to avoid collisions. The automatic braking function is only activated when the system assesses that a collision is imminent. The system then steps in to limit the consequences of the imminent collision or, in some cases, totally avoid it,” explains Ingrid Skogsmo.

The ‘City Safety’ system should be available within two years. However, Volvo recently introduced Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWABS) active safety systems with the all-new Volvo S80, which also help to avoid and reduce damage and injuries from collisions. These systems alert the driver via audible and visual signals if the gap to the car in front is reducing so quickly that an impact is likely. It automatically pre-charges the braking system so that braking is as effective as possible in an emergency situation but doesn’t offer full auto-braking.

Volvo is doing a big promotion across the country as it enters the luxury, performance-oriented, small SUV/crossover market with their new XC60. Two Parallel Tours will cross the country with more than 85 events, giving customers the opportunity to see the new XC60 before it goes on sale at dealerships and experience “City Safety” - Volvo’s most extensive safety package ever.

This technology is being promoted across the US under Volvo’s From Sweden with Löv ad campaign. Check it out, and see it in action at a Volvo dealer near you!

I think it’s a great idea. There are too many bad drivers on the road, and far too many who are not paying attention. But I spent my youth on motorcycles, so I have a different perspective: pay absolute attention to everything around you at all times while driving, or die. That’s the motorcycle choice. As far as I’m concerned, the folks who need automatic parking, automatic braking, GPS, traction control, drive by wire, CVT transmissions, and all the rest ... probably should be taking the bus. Not that I’d hesitate to have any of these features on my ride. I just don’t want them to get to the point where they stop me from doing what I want to do.

PS - while on the subject of cars, what gives with the price of gas? It’s shot up 25 cents in the past couple weeks, yet the price of crude is still at historic lows. ($36.51/bbl) Demand is down more than any decrease in production. Maybe the Gaza situation? But they don’t have any oil!! Pirates? They only got 1 tanker, and they let that one go already. Confused and miffed here.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2009 at 01:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveriesplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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