If there’s one thing Volvo is known for, it's safety. Back in the day, it was the Swedish automaker who first introduced the three-point seatbelt as standard in vehicles. More recently, Volvo announced that they will be limiting the top speed of all future vehicles to only 180 km/h in a bid to reduce or eliminate fatal accidents.
In order to take more active measures in preventing accidents, Volvo has now announced that they will be using in-car cameras to monitor and detect a driver’s responsiveness to his or her surroundings. Essentially, the in-car camera system will be able to detect whether or not the driver is drunk or distracted by their phones.
“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable. In this case, cameras will monitor for behavior that may lead to serious injury or death,” says Henrik Green, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
Volvo did not mention how many cameras will be installed in the vehicle or how the system works specifically. Based on the announcement, however, the cameras will monitor where the driver is looking, and whether the driver makes sudden or slow corrections. Should the driver not be paying attention, the system will alert the driver and attempt to slow the car down. Should it fail, a Volvo on-call assistance will be altered and connect with the driver. Should that fail too, the car will automatically slow down and come to a stop.
The system is set to be rolled out in next-generation Volvo models utilizing the SPA2 platform, alongside the automaker’s electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h. The question now is how would consumers react considering there is a camera that monitors you even when driving. After all, not everyone would be comfortable having a camera on their face when driving, really. Volvo did not mention whether the system can be disabled or not.