Print 52 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Sep 30 at 3:15 PM

Volvo XC60 test vehicle applies brakes to prevent collision with test dummies  (Source: Drive)
Volvo blames collisions on improperly setup dummies

It was just a few months ago when we brought you the first edition of Volvo's "Technology Fail" with the failure of the company's Collision Warning System. In that test, a Volvo S60 test car was supposed to brake in time to avoid a stationary truck with no driver involvement -- instead, the vehicle ended up rear-ending the truck at 30 mph.

Now, Volvo is serving up a second edition of Technology Fail. This time around, Volvo invited the press to witness its Advanced Pedestrian Avoidance System in action. The system is supposed to detect pedestrians in the direct path of the vehicle and apply the brakes to avoid a collision. A Volvo XC60 test vehicle equipped with the new safety feature was sent down a test track towards two dummies (a father and son pairing). Of the 12 demonstrations performed for the press, three of them failed.

In two of the three incidents witnessed, brakes were applied, but not in time to avoid a collision. In one of the collisions, the brakes were not applied at all.

Almost comically, Jonas Tisell, Volvo's Active Safety Systems manager, told Drive that the three collisions were the dummy's fault. "The failure of the test was due to the dummy not being set up properly, therefore it did not give an echo enough for the system," said Tisell. "So the dummy was not relevant in this situation."

It is a bit puzzling to imagine a dummy standing in the middle of the road -- which is approximately representative of a human being doing the same thing -- could possibly be setup wrong, but we'll give Volvo the benefit of the doubt here.

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By theArchMichael on 9/27/2010 3:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think any tech that can marginally increase the overall safety of a vehicle is worthwhile costs permitting. Also, integrating technology into vehicles is going to be an important step for us as a culture as we move towards the fully automated self-driving car. So as these vehicle automation techs improve over time and people feel more comfortable giving control over to the technology things may change more rapidly.

Also, not sure on this, but I think most times when you are rear-ended... you are the victim... unless you really enjoyed it :-)

By The Raven on 9/28/2010 12:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Also, not sure on this, but I think most times when you are rear-ended... you are the victim... unless you really enjoyed it :-)

I was trying to say that that the car manufacturer would get sued by the driver.

And I doubt we are headed for a self-driving car anytime in my baby's lifetime. If we were, we would be using public transportation A LOT more. (I speak from the American perspective).
We are trying to be more fuel efficient (be that gas, solar, wind, coal, etc.) and and a self-driving car is not in those plans.

By Thats Mr Gopher to you on 9/29/2010 12:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
The manufacturer isn't to blame in this situation. The driver in the rear vehicle that is travelling too close or too fast is to blame for the accident. Ask anyone in car insurance, they'll quickly clear that up for you.

The manufacturer may end up getting sued if the system causes some other kind of accident where the driver of the vehicle would normally be at fault.

By The Raven on 9/30/2010 3:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah you're right. But I still think that people will find a way to hold the manufacturer responsible if there is a 'misfire'. Maybe the rearender will sue the manufacturer the same way people sue cities for causing accidents at 'dangerous' intersections. (I not dismissing such suits but using it as an example)

I'm talking about these suits where the manufacturer gets sued for airbag/seatbelt malfunction. (Barring legislation) they could just leave the feature out and avoid a suit. But I definitely see your point.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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