Volvo is gearing up to launch its industry-first connected safety technology across Europe, allowing its cars to communicate with each other and alert drivers of any slippery road conditions or hazards using a cloud-based network.
While Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert were first introduced back in 2016 on 90-Series models in Sweden and Norway, these features will become available to all Volvo drivers in Europe next week.
The two features also come as standard on all new model year 2020 Volvos and can be retrofitted on models based on the automaker’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) or Compact Modular Architecture (CMA).
“Sharing real-time safety data between cars can help avoid accidents,” Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Center. “Volvo owners directly contribute to making roads safer for other drivers that enable the feature, while they also benefit from early warnings to potentially dangerous conditions ahead.”
Volvo’s own research shows that adjusting speeds to various traffic situations can radically reduce the risk for accidents, so by alerting drivers to dangers ahead in a timely manner, connected safety technologies can support better driver behavior, allowing them to anticipate what’s coming and adapt.
At the same time, Volvo is also extending an invitation to the car industry to join it in sharing anonymized data related to traffic safety, which in turn should lead to improved overall safety. Since last year, Volvo Cars and Volvo Trucks have shared data to alert drivers of nearby hazards in Sweden and Norway.
“The more vehicles we have sharing safety data in real time, the safer our roads become. We hope to establish more collaborations with partners who share our commitment to safety,” added Ekholm.
Take for example the Hazard Light Alert. It works by sending a signal to all nearby Volvo cars connected to the cloud service, warning drivers of potential accidents. This feature is particularly useful around blind corners and over the crest of hills. As for Slippery Road Alert, it anonymously collects road surface information from cars further ahead and warns drivers approaching a slippery surface in advance.