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.