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2016 Volvo XC90 debuts world-first safety systems

By Bob Nagy on July 22, 2014 5:04 PM
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The 2016 Volvo XC90 will offer a pair of innovative safety technologies that will be introduced on this 7-passenger SUV slated for its formal unveiling later this month. The technology is designed to enhance driver and passenger survivability and offer a measure of accident avoidance. Both are fully integrated into the XC90's existing suite of safety equipment. 

A new spin on survivability 

The first of Volvo's industry-leading upgrades is called Safe Positioning. It incorporates both active and passive elements to help prevent potential injuries that could occur when the vehicle leaves the road surface as the result of an impact or driver error. Safe Positioning enables the new XC90 to instantly recognize and automatically react to threats by tightening the front-seat safety belts to ensure the occupants remain firmly in place. That programmed pre-tensioning function is matched with seats featuring special energy-absorbing materials capable of reducing vertical load forces by up to one-third to help mitigate the potential for spinal injuries. 

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The second new feature on the XC90 is automatic braking at intersections which swings into action if the driver should inadvertently start to turn in front of an oncoming vehicle. Volvo says this new collision-avoidance system can detect a potential impact and then apply the brakes in a manner that either avoids the crash entirely or lessens the potential consequences as much as possible. It will be part of the automaker's standard City Safety auto-braking system -- which already operates in a similarly autonomous manner to help prevent front impacts with pedestrians, bicyclists or other vehicles. 

Street-smart Technology 

The new XC90 also will feature a host of other standard or available safety systems aimed at improving the daily driving experience. Highlighting that list is pre-crash rear-impact protection that cinches down the seatbelts and flashes the brake lights to try to warn the driver behind, automatic Queue Assist that allows the XC90 to safely follow the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic, extended Park Pilot Assist with parallel and new back-in bay capabilities, a 360-degree bird's eye camera plus rear-facing Cross Traffic Alert and an enhanced version of Road Sign Information technology that can recognize and display an even wider range of signs.

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"Our starting point on safety is the same today as it was 87 years ago: real-life situations," noted Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. "We study data. We crunch numbers. We innovate. The result is one of the safest cars ever made." The new 2016 Volvo XC90 will go on sale next year. 

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