Volvo to add in-car cameras to reduce drunk and distracted driving

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Words: Nile Bijoux
21 Mar 2019

Volvo is continuing its big safety push with the announcement that all new models will come equipped with in-car cameras to tackle the issue of impaired driving.

The firm has identified the three major causes of road fatalities - speed, distraction and intoxication - and has already announced that all future Volvos will be limited to 180km/h.

To deal with the other two issues, Volvo will use new in-car cameras paired with other onboard sensors to detect if the driver is behaving in a way that could result in injury or death. Examples of such behaviour include a complete lack of steering input for extended periods of time, drivers whose eyes are closed or distracted for extended periods of time, as well as extreme weaving across lanes or excessively slow reaction times.

The car can then intervene by limiting speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistance service where available and, as a final course of action, actively slowing down and safely parking itself.

Ministry of Transport statistics show that driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a contributing factor in around 29 per cent of all fatal accidents on New Zealand roads.

Volvo’s NZ general manager, Coby Duggan, says in the years ahead the company will introduce new driver monitoring and intervention technology to help reduce the impact of intoxicated driving.

“The very nature of being under the influence means the driver’s ability to self-evaluate is significantly impaired.

“This move on Volvo’s part acknowledges the need for a more proactive approach to driver behaviour alongside continual advances in both active and passive safety features. Technology will soon enable the car to intervene if it senses an intoxicated driver is putting themselves and other road users at risk,” he added.

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