Car Reviews

Giz Tests Volvo's New Pedestrian Detection Tech

It’s not quite the injury-proof car that Volvo is aiming for by 2020, but we reckon this is as close as it’ll get. Volvo’s world first pedestrian detection and auto-brake technology uses radar and cameras to detect people in the way, and if you don’t brake in time, it’ll do it for you. We wanted to see how this worked for ourselves, and here are the results on video.

Volve told us not to drive faster than 30km/h for obvious reasons of not wanting footage of its technology looking like a fail — I tried to break that rule because I wanted to see what would happen if you were driving at a speed that you would more likely be doing in a real-world scenario. Volvo does make it very clear that once the speedometer ticks over 30km/h it’s no longer about not injury prevention but injury mitigation.

The Pedestrian Detection technology is being debuted first on the Volvo S60 (the $50,000 car you see in the video), but it’s coming to the Swedish car manufacturer’s full line-up of vehicles as new models roll off the conveyor belt.

Like Adaptive Cruise Control in the Ford Focus, Pedestrian Detection will need to be purchased as part of an addon package. The technology is still relatively new, but we can expect it to eventually go the way of Volvo’s City Safety system, which debuted on the Volvo XC60 4WD in 2008, and now comes standard on all new Volvo vehicles.

What we’re wondering is if it will lead to complacency, kinda like reverse parking cameras have made us less likely to look over our shoulder and check our blind spots. Will technology like Volvo’s pedestrian detection and auto-brake technology feed our complacency and make us worse drivers?


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