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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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This will never work
By DarkPhoenix on 9/28/2010 5:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
As others, I have to say that this will never work and will most likely cause more problems, than actually do any good.

First, the remark about it being the dummy's fault. Well, that guy took lessons from Steve Jobs it seems. The lack of common sense at Apple seems to be contagious or something. Sure, this wasn't a "real" person and Volvo's customer would actually be the driver, not the person below the wheel...but still, trying to be ridiculous as Apple is at damage control, is not acceptable.

Second, about how this will never work and will probably cause more problems, than actually do any good, there's no way that this system is good enough to prevent applying the brakes, on a situation where there really wasn't the need to. And this will cause accidents, when it was intended to prevent them.
As someone else pointed out, a car is a tool and the people driving it should be the ones responsible for their actions, when using it. People are people and they will make mistakes, but adding technology to the mix, that will cause even more mistakes, doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Especially when these test scenarios are in the perfect conditions and the system still fails some times. Imagine when it's a busy street filled with people and/or stray animals...

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