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Volvo Adds Accident Alert Feature To Warn You About Crashes Ahead

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Imagine driving around a twisty canyon road. It’s a clear day, and you’re enjoying the ride and handling of your EV around corners. Suddenly there’s an alert on the gauge cluster of your car, warning you of an accident ahead. You promptly slow down as your eyes vigorously scan the road ahead. By the time you reach the crash location, you’re already slow, hyper-aware, and can safely navigate around the scene.

This is exactly what Volvo envisioned with its new Accident Alert Ahead feature. It is already available on select Volvo models in Europe, starting with Denmark. It uses real-time data from a traffic management center to alert drivers of mishaps up to 100 meters ahead. To improve this system further, Volvo is planning to integrate more traffic data shared by the European Data for Road Safety ecosystem, including national traffic management centers in other nations and cars from other brands, Volvo said.

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Connected cars can be safer.

Software-defined cars are triggering fresh conversations about data privacy and surveillance. They are, after all, highly connected, just like our smartphones, and can communicate seamlessly. But can this technology be leveraged to make our roads safer? Volvo certainly thinks so.

For the accident alert to work as intended, emergency responders have to first report the accident to a traffic management center. From there, Volvo Cars’ cloud software can pick it up and beam alerts to cars in that specific area. So naturally, it would require high levels of system integration and connectivity.

Volvo owners can also contribute to this, by opting to share data with other Volvos on the road. They can do this by enabling the “connected safety” option on their infotainment screens.

Volvo Crash Alert

Google Maps also has this feature. But of course, you need to use it every time you’re behind the wheel for it to alert you. Volvo’s accident alert, on the other hand, is built-in. 

Volvo has a solid track record of safety innovations. It invented some of the most groundbreaking safety features that are now ubiquitous in the automotive universe. Some examples include the three-point seat belt, rear-facing child seats, and blind-spot monitoring. Volvo even opened up the seatbelt patent for royalty-free use in the interest of safety for all road users in 1959. It prioritized safety over profit, leading to the standardization of seatbelt usage in cars.

Some 61,000 motor vehicles were involved in crashes in the U.S. in 2021, as per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Do you think modern software-defined cars can leverage their connectivity to make U.S. roads safer, and ultimately bring those annual crash numbers down?

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