Volvo to use automatic horn warning in 2017

A new Volvo driver-pedestrian warning system will allow buses to warn of incoming collisions

Volvo to use automatic horn warning in 2017
Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid.

Volvo has announced the imminent rollout of a new system for its city buses which will alert both drivers and pedestrians of an imminent crash.

The new system comes during Volvo’s safety crusade which aims to reduce the number of Volvo vehicle-related deaths to zero per year.

The feature is called the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection System, and it constantly monitors the area around the bus – especially in front.

Peter Danielsson, director of vehicle features and safety at Volvo Buses, says it’s important for the driver and pedestrians alike to be aware of their surroundings.

"Accidents involving buses and unprotected road-users seldom occur, but when they do the consequences may be very serious," Danielsson says.

"In order to minimise the risks, it is important that drivers and anyone moving around near buses – such as at bus stops and pedestrian crossings – pays close attention to the traffic.

"In this context the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection System offers excellent support,"

The system works by detecting potential collisions with cyclists or pedestrians, then emitting a warning sound to anyone in front of the bus, as well as sounds and lights to alert the driver.

If the risk becomes more immediate, the bus horn will activate as a more intense warning to the pedestrian.

 "Several of the components in our system are based on the same tried and tested technology found in many cars," says Danielsson.

"But we are the only vehicle manufacturer to offer a solution that simultaneously notifies both driver and unprotected road-user."

Volvo has introduced this system to account for the dangers of a growing proportion of electric (and therefore quieter) buses in modern cities.

Danielsson says despite the system using additional sound to alert pedestrians, the benefits of quiet city transport will not be lost.

"The bus can be heard – but without being disruptive.

"We’ve solved this problem by developing a synthetic background sound with a frequency range that is not perceived as disruptive.

"For instance, it does not penetrate windows with triple glazing, unlike the low-frequency noise made by a diesel engine."

Volvo will unveil the new system alongside Dynamic Steering and several other safety innovations at the 2016 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (German International Motor Show).

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