IIHS: Volvo's City Safety Cuts Low-Speed Car Accidents

July 19, 2011

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is giving praise to an anti-collision system developed by Volvo and used on their XC60 crossover. The IIHS found that Volvo’s City Safety system can reduce frontal crash accidents by as much as 25 percent, and can reduce property damage claims by up to 27 percent.

The City Safety system reacts to vehicles within 18 feet of the front bumper, and automatically intervenes to prevent a crash at speeds below nine miles per hour. At speeds between nine and 19 miles per hour (City Safety’s upper limit), the system will take steps to minimize crash damage.

Unlike other collision avoidance systems, Volvo’s City Safety doesn’t provide a visual or auditory warning to the driver before intervening. Instead, City Safety operates in the background until needed; if an imminent crash is detected, the system will automatically engage the brakes, pre-tension the seat belts and prepare airbags for deployment.

Volvo’s City Safety is the first collision avoidance system to be specifically recognized by the IIHS, and the results of the study could lead to accelerated implementation of  collision avoidance systems from other manufacturers. In Europe, many insurance companies offer discounts for cars equipped with collision avoidance systems, which helps to offset their additional cost. Now that the IIHS has recognized the effectiveness of Volvo’s system, perhaps insurance discounts for U.S. drivers will be forthcoming.

[Detroit News]

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