Volvo's Cars Will Watch You While You Drive

Stock image of a Volvo V90

Stock image of a Volvo V90

It's identified three key areas where changing how drivers think about driving can reduce the rate of accidents most dramatically.

Volvo's driver monitoring system looks for certain telltale signs involving distracted and intoxicated driving.

Volvo believes fatal accidents involving intoxication and distraction can be addressed via cameras and sensors that monitor the driver.

"When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable".

Notably, the details suggest an interim technology that uses advanced semi-autonomous capabilities to halt a vehicle that is not itself capable of fully automated driving if the human driver is not deemed to be fully attentive or sober.

In an attempt to combat distracted and intoxicated driving, Volvo says it will use in-vehicle cameras and sensors that monitor the driver to make the decision to "allow the auto to intervene". These cameras will watch how you act and respond to situations, to determine if you're driving under the influence or not paying proper attention.

Starting with the next generation of cars, from the start of the 2020s, Volvo will install cameras inside the auto to watch you as you drive. The vehicle could notice this through what we'll call "prompts", such as a lack of steering input for a period of time, if the cameras notice the driver's eyes are closed or looking off the road, if the auto detects risky weaving, or if it identifies slow driver reaction times. Volvo aims to tackle that with a standard in-car driver monitoring system, using cameras that will be included as standard on vehicles based on its new SPA2 platform.

If such a thing happens, a member of Volvo's on-call assistance team will then attempt to make contact with the driver via the vehicle.

What's more, the company wants cars to be able to take steps to prevent such mishaps, either by limiting the vehicle's speed, informing authorities, or even parking at a safe location.

"Many owners want to be able to share their auto with friends and family, but are unsure about how to make sure they are safe on the road", Samuelsson said in the statement.

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson told journalists the technology developments meant automakers had the responsibility to take on the role of Big Brother to ensure safety on the roads.

"We're making this data, these publications easily accessible and available for everybody", Volvo's Lotta Jakobsson said of the company's crash data.

The amount of cameras and their positioning is yet to be confirmed.

Additionally, the company revealed the Care Key.

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