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Sensor tech could make car accidents obsolete

Volvo has developed a new safety feature that it believes has the potential to eliminate deaths and injuries by its cars and trucks by 2020.

Created as part of the Non-Hit Car and Truck project, the 360° system acts as a virtual co-driver by using a suite of discrete sensors to provide comprehensive 360° coverage of the immediate area around the car every 25ms.

Volvo says it can detect threats that may be invisible to the driver up to five seconds ahead. The system can even assist with auto-braking and steering.

"With the Non-Hit Car and Truck project, we've taken a significant step towards realising the vision that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car," said Anders Almevad, project manager for the Non-Hit Car Project at Volvo Cars.

"Our primary objective is to focus on preventing different types of accident scenarios. But going forward, we will also continue to work on developing cars that adapt to each individual driver's unique behaviour."

Key to the technology is a centralised Sensor Fusion framework that allows data from radar, cameras, lidar, GPS and other sensors to be shared efficiently.

Two prototype vehicles have so far been built, with the technology due to be employed in the next five years.

Author
Laura Hopperton

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