In early 2001, Volvo Cars took a major step into the future.
The main theme of the Volvo Safety Concept Car (SCC) was 'superior visibility'. However, the car also featured technology to boost personal safety, as well as improved passive safety systems.
The SCC thus highlighted a new dimension in research and development in the field of car safety.
The Volvo Safety Concept Car was a vision of the safety features that car buyers may enjoy in the future – and already today more than half the safety solutions shown in the SCC have become part of Volvo's production models or are scheduled for introduction in the near future. Built for the eye
The Volvo Safety Concept Car is built for the eye. This does not primarily refer to its appealing design but rather to the fact that all the engineering and design work focused on the driver's eyes, thus creating the potential for better visibility.
When the driver gets behind the wheel, a sensor registers the position of his or her eyes. The seat then automatically adjusts to the appropriate setting for the driver's eyes so the driver benefits from the best possible visibility. Once seat adjustment is completed, the floor, pedals, §teering wheel, centre console and gear lever all move to positions that put these controls within convenient reach.
The driver thus gets the best possible overview of what is happening both outside the car and in the instrument panel.Curved B-posts
The Volvo SCC also features several other functions that improve visibility, such as:
• The driver can see through the windscreen's dual A-posts thanks to a skeleton box-structure made of metal covered wîth transparent Plexiglas. The B-posts between the front and rear doors curve inwards echoing the contours of the seat frame to provide a free offset rear field of vision.
• The B-posts, between the front and rear doors, are fitted inside the car and are integrated wîth the front seat frame to provide a free field of vision offset rear.
• A sensor in the door mirror registers cars approaching from the rear and alerts the driver to vehicles in the blind spot.
• In addition there are rear-facing cameras in the door mirrors that cover the blind spot.
• The headlight beams adapt to the road, for instance by directing the light the way the §teering wheel turns in a crossing or curve.
• A front-facing camera monitors the car's position on the road and alerts the driver if the car shows signs of wandering off course.
• A collision sensor monitors the distance to the vehicle in front and also registers if the gap closes too fast. If either happens, the driver is alerted by a red warning lamp that comes on. This warning can also be provided in the form of an audible buzzer.
• The brake lights flash to warn following traffic when the brakes are applied hard.Increased collision safety and personal protection
In addition, the Volvo SCC has a number of innovative features in the areas of driving safety, collision safety and personal protection.
• Together wîth the car's B-posts, the front seat frames create a safety cage that is at least as effective in roll-over situations and side impacts as conventional B-posts are.
• The car has two different types of four-point safety harness: the Criss-Cross Belt (X4) and the Brace Belt (V4). The X4 harness is based on a conventional three-point seat belt that is supplemented wîth an additional diagonal cross-chest belt.
The V4 belt is a new four-point harness that has a centrally fitted fastener, wîth the shoulder straps forming a V-shape across the chest.
• The rear seat has two vertically adjustable seat cushions that adjust steplessly to give children the best and safest seating position, irrespective of height.Remote control becomes communication centre
The remote control has developed into the Volvo Personal Communicator (VPC), wîth a range of innovative features:
• A fingerprint sensor customises the remote control unit.
• All the driver has to do to unlock the door is to grasp the door handle – and the car can also be started without the need for an ignition key.
• VPC transfers the driver's personal settings to the car, which automatically sets the driver's seat, §teering wheel, pedals and so on correctly.
• The system can also be pre-programmed wîth various destinations so that the navigation instrument is already set up when the driver unlocks the door.
• A cardiac sensor registers heartbeats from both people and animals when the car is parked. The sensor is activated if anyone breaks into the car and hides there, or if a child or pet is accidentally left behind.
• If the driver is more than 100 metres away from the car, VPC can still send information via a mobile phone. It is also possible to transfer information from a PC or palmtop computer.Source - Volvo
Volvo Safety Concept Car makes driving that much saferAfter launching three new car models in 2000 Volvo Cars is now taking another major step into the future.
The main theme of the Volvo Safety Concept Car (SCC) is 'superior vision'. However, the car also employs a variety of technologies that enhance personal security and improve passive safety systems.
SCC thus points the way to a new dimension in the research and development of car safety.
The Volvo Safety Concept Car is a vision of the developments in safety that car buyers can enjoy in the future. It is also evidence that Volvo Cars and the Ford Motor Company are at the leading edge of the development of technology for safer driving.
'With the quick pace of technological development, we are constantly gaining access to smaller yet more powerful computers, new sensors and so on. Volvo s approach is to utilise the breakthroughs in an intelligent and sensible way. We combine advanced electronics wîth new materials and new mechanical design solutions to create customer benefits. One example of this is the Volvo SCC and its unique enhanced all-round visibility,' says Hans Gustavsson, head of research and development at Volvo Cars.
'More than 90 per cent of all important information to the driver comes in the form of visual input through the windows and windscreen of the car. If we improve the quality of this visual information, we will also improve the driver s ability to make the right decisions in difficult situations, thereby avoiding collisions.'Built for the eye
That is why the forward-thinking Volvo Safety Concept Car is built for the eye. Not merely in terms of aesthetic appearances and lines pleasing to the eye, but rather because the car has been designed around the driver s eyes to ensure better vision and visibility.
When the driver gets into the seat, a sensor identifies the location of his or her eyes. The seat then automatically adjusts to suit the position of the eyes so that the driver obtains the best possible field of vision. Once this is done, the floor, pedals, §teering wheel and centre console, including the gear lever, all move to ensure that all the controls are within convenient reach.
The driver thus enjoys the best overview of what is happening both outside the car and on the instrument panel.Number one in safety
The Volvo SCC is the result of close collaboration between Volvo Cars and its parent company, the Ford Motor Company. The car, which was designed at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in California, demonstrates advances in several research and development projects in the fields of safety and security. It clearly highlights the cutting-edge skills and resources the company has at its disposal.Curved B-pillars
The Volvo SCC has a number of additional functions that improve visibility.
The driver can see through the supporting pillars of the windscreen the A-pillars as a result of a metal box construction combined wîth see-through Plexiglass. The B-pillars the pillars between the front and rear doors curve inwards following the contours of the seat frame to offer an unobstructed field of vision to the offset rear.
A sensor located in the outer rear-view mirrors detects the approaching vehicle and alerts the driver to vehicles in the offset rear 'blind spot'.
In addition, rearward-facing cameras integrated into the door mirrors can show the driver what is in the blind spot.
The headlight beams adapt to the road and the speed by directing the beam in the direction that the driver is turning at a crossroads or on a corner, for example.
An infrared light enhancer boosts night-time vision beyond the reach of the headlights.
A forward-facing camera monitors the position of the car on the road and alerts the driver if there is any tendency to veer off course.Increased crash safety and personal security
In addition, the Volvo SCC features a number of exciting features in the areas of active driving safety, crash protection and personal security.
Together wîth the B-pillars, the front seat frames form a safety cage that is at least as effective in roll-over accidents and side-impact collisions as conventional B-pillars.
The car has two different types of four-point safety belt, the X4 CrissCross Belt and the V4 Centre Buckle belt. The X4 is based on a conventional three-point belt that is supplemented wîth an additional diagonal chest belt. The V4 Centre Buckle Belt is a new four-point safety harness that has a centrally positioned buckle and shoulder straps that form a 'V' across the chest.
The rear seat has two adjustable seat cushions whose height can be steplessly altered to give children the most comfortable and the safest seating position, irrespective of their height.The remote control unit becomes a communication centre
The remote control unit has been developed into the Volvo Personal Communicator (VPC) and it has a number of new features.A fingerprint sensor personalises the remote control unit.
The driver only has to grasp the door handle to unlock the door and the car can be started without
The VPC transmits the driver s personal setting parameters to the car, which automatically makes the necessary adjustments to the driver s seat, §teering wheel, pedals and so on.
The system can even be pre-programmed wîth a number of destinations so that the navigation instrument is preset at the same time as the driver unlocks the door.
A heartbeat sensor registers both human and animal heartbeats when the car is parked. The sensor is activated if anyone breaks into the car and hides inside it or if a child or pet is left inside by mistake.
If the driver is more than 100 metres from the car, the VPC can still transmit this information via a cell phone. It is also possible to transfer information from a PC or hand-held computer.Source - Volvo