Volvo has come up with a crash-proof family car which will go on sale in the autumn.
Its secret is a laser-guidance system to spot vehicles in front that are too close or stopping suddenly. When it does, the Volvo will stop of its own accord to avoid a smash.
The CitySafety system, which kicks in at speeds of up to 20mph and is designed for urban driving, has the potential to prevent half of all rear-end collisions, said Volvo.
A laser sensor built into the windscreen reacts to traffic in front that is either stationary or moving in the same direction.
It scans up to six yards ahead and, sensing the difference in speed between it and a vehicle in front, it makes 50 calculations a second to determine the braking force needed to avoid crashing.
If the driver fails to slow, the system brakes automatically and disables the accelerator.
The system will be standard in the XC60 car, priced from �25,000 ($50,000).
Nice, but the two car wrecks I’ve been in were not my fault and I could not have avoided them because someone else crashed into me. So, I want countermeasures. I’d like a car that ejects me into the air with a parachute chair if I’m about to be killed by another driver and there is nowhere to maneuver. Imagine a scene where 25 drivers are all ejected at the same time during a highway pile up, and they all survive by flying to a safe landing place with a consumer version of the WASP technology!
Or perhaps if the car determines that the occupants of the other car will die anyway it fires car-to-car missile to blow them up. Just kidding, but on some days I still hurt from being rear ended years ago. On those days I daydream about finding the woman who “just wasn’t paying attention” when she hit me, strapping her to a chair, hooking our brains together, so she gets to experience the pain she caused.