If you ever needed an illustration as to why safety systems such as collision avoidance, lane change warning or adaptive cruise control should always be considered as driver ‘aids’, then Volvo have provided us with the perfect example.
The last time we can remember such an embarrassing situation was the Brake Assist PLUS failure that Mercedes experienced when demonstrating their new S-Class to a German television station in 2005.
The scene takes place during a demonstration of the new system “city safety” before a gathering of international press in Sweden. A Volvo S60 is propelled out of the tunnel at about 35 km / h towards a stationary truck. The system ‘should’ have detected the obstacle and stopped the car before it crashed. But that’s not what happened…
Apparently the impact occurred because of a battery problem on this pre-production vehicle and therefore the “city safety” was not activated on the S60.
WIRED magazine who filmed the video point out that they were able to attend a number of other demonstrations of “city safety” which were all successful. Volvo also said that if had been a real driver in the car instead of the dummy, he would have noted that the system was failing on this test vehicle and applied the brakes manually.
No worries then…
Take a look at the video over on WIRED Magazine to see for yourself (click on the image below);