Next-Gen Volvo Models Feature Drink Driving Sensors

In the decades since its inception, Swedish carmaker Volvo has built its reputation on safety and low-key luxury. Its latest campaign, Vision 2020, aims for a lofty goal — no more deaths or serious injuries in its new cars.  In line with this, Volvo is introducing new technology to prevent drink driving, believing that the way to its goal lies in the modification of driver behaviour coupled with leading-edge safety technology. This is a development that should benefit Brisbane car owners greatly, particularly given the prevalence of drink driving incidents in Fortitude Valley and other Brisbane suburbs. 

Recently, the Swedish automaker announced that sensor cameras will be installed in the next-generation models for the XC40, XC60 and XC90, which are designed to detect the reaction and behaviour of the Volvo driver. The car will slow down or completely stop and not respond if the sensor determines that the driver is intoxicated. 

“Volvo Cars believes intoxication and distraction should be addressed by installing in-car cameras and other sensors that monitor the driver and allow the car to intervene if a clearly intoxicated or distracted driver does not respond to warning signals and is risking an accident involving serious injury or death,” Volvo said in a statement. 

Learn more about how Volvo’s drink driving safety feature works in this video: 

Volvo’s Outstanding Safety Record

“We want to attract people who think it’s important to drive safely,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said following the announcement of Vision 2020. 

Early on, safety has been the cornerstone of its vehicle design as Volvo is the inventor of the three-point seatbelt in 1959. Volvo is also a pioneer of the rearward-facing child safety seat and booster seat in the ’70s. It is the first automaker to introduce side-impact airbags.

In 2008, Volvo was way ahead of other car manufacturers when it launched the City Safety system that allowed its vehicles to slow down and prevent a car crash upon detection of an obstruction. To better understand why Volvo is regarded as the safest car in the world, watch this:

Australia to Require New Car Drink Driving Safety Features 

Volvo’s big news comes as Australia could mandate similar safety features among new vehicles for sale by 2025 in line with the guidelines of the United Nations.

“Unfortunately, alcohol remains a major problem [of the road toll] with between 15 and 25 percent of our driver fatalities each year from drivers being under the influence of alcohol,” Transport Road Commission road safety director Samantha Cockfield said.

Crime statistics in Australia also show that Fortitude Valley ranks high for violence and accidents due to alcohol. Since 2014, law enforcers, as well as club and pub owners, are proactively implementing strategies to promote a drink safe precinct. Now, even automakers like Volvo are in on the objective to keep the public safer.

“The first technologies we’ll see are passive systems like passive alcohol and drug interlock systems so they will be within the car and they will be able to test if you’ve got any alcohol on your breath,” Ms Cockfield added. 

Expectedly, automakers may still improve on the technology by introducing sensor pads on the steering wheel or infrared light detection at the ignition button. This way, the driver under influence won’t be able to bypass the safety features.   

Photo Credit: Volvo Cars Australia/Facebook

“Yes, definitely we will see a day when that technology will be standard in vehicles and I think if you look at Volvo internationally, I think they’ve talked about those kinds of technologies being integrated quite soon,” Ms Cockfield said. 

Buying Volvo in Fortitude Valley

As of press time, Volvo Australia has not yet announced the availability for the next generation models with the drink driving safety features. However, if you’re interested in owning the safest car for your family, you may phone Volvo Cars North Brisbane at 07 3177 3181 or visit their showroom in at 773 Ann Street Fortitude Valley for a test drive.