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Ouch! Volvo's test car crashed into a truck during the demonstration.  (Source: YouTube)

An unblemished Volvo S60
Volvo gets egg on its face with Collision Warning System Demo

It's no secret that computers and advanced electronics are seemingly taking over many functions in today's vehicles. Volvo was happy to show off its latest technological advancements this week in Sweden and invited a score of journalists to watch the demonstration.

What Volvo didn't count on, however, was that the demonstration would be a failure.

Volvo was supposed to demonstrate how the its new S60 near-luxury sedan would avoid a stopped or slower moving obstacle in the direct path of the vehicle. Volvo's Collision Warning System is similar to other systems found in more expensive Lexus and Mercedes models.

Unfortunately for Volvo, the test went horribly wrong. After being hurtled down the test track at 30 mph towards a stopped truck, the Collision Warning System failed to function properly. So instead of applying the brakes to stop the vehicle from hitting the obstacle, the S60 instead kept going full speed ahead right into the back of the truck.

According to Wired, Volvo claims that the resultant crash was due to human error in prepping the vehicle.

However, it wasn't a total loss with regards to the failed braking test -- the passenger compartment of the S60 was left untouched and the windshield didn't even crack from the 30 mph collision -- so at least Volvo's reputation of building strong safety cages is still intact.

You can watch video of the failed demonstration here.

The all-new S60 will launch here in North America this fall and will be made available with a 300 hp / 325 lb-ft, 3.0-liter inline-6 engine.


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RE: Wow great to see some honesty
By lightfoot on 5/7/2010 4:28:08 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, but it is also possible for a seatbelt or airbag to fail in a crash. That doesn't mean that you stop putting them in cars. Like those technologies this technology does not in any way increase the likelihood of a crash. It simply mitigates the danger if a crash were already imminent.

As a test, it was an utter failure. As a technology, it should not be abandoned. Even if it only worked 1% of the time it would still be a significant improvement in safety. It just wouldn't justify the cost at that point.

You can't compare this failure with the sticky gas pedals on Toyotas or the flaming cruise control on Fords. Those were failures that killed people. This failure (even at its worst) would simply not save people. There is a very significant difference.

By Alexstarfire on 5/8/2010 2:55:54 AM , Rating: 4
Whoever died because of the "sticky" gas pedals in Toyota cars are just retarded. I'm not saying Toyota is in the clear or anything, but come on. If you don't even know other ways to stop your car than the regular brakes then you don't need to be driving. Cause at that point you're just an accident waiting to happen.

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