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by George Skentzos

Studies show that up to 90% of all motor vehicle accidents occur as a result of the driver being distracted. In response, Volvo Cars has introduced Driver Alert Control – with a technology solution that is a world-first in passenger cars.

The first innovation is Driver Alert Control (DAC) which is a system that monitors the car’s movements and assesses whether the vehicle is being driven in a controlled or uncontrolled way. This method is unique among vehicle manufacturers and is very reliable.

What makes the system unique is that unlike other similar systems which monitor the driver, Volvo’s system instead monitors the cars behaviour.

“We do not monitor human behaviour – which varies from one person to another. Instead, the system monitors the effect fatigue and decreased concentration has on driving behaviour. Our system is based on the car’s progress on the road. It gives a reliable indication if something is likely to go wrong and alerts the driver before it is too late,”

A camera installed between the windscreen and the interior rear-view mirror, continuously measures the distance between the car and the road lane markings whilst sensors register the car’s movements. The control unit stores the information and calculates whether the driver risks losing control of the vehicle.

Driver Alert Control can also cover situations where the driver is focusing too much on his/her mobile phone or children in the car, thereby, not having full control of the vehicle.

If the systems identifies a potential risk, it will inform the driver via an audible tone as well as a text message on the cars display.

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Volvo’s second innovation is a Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system which monitors the lane marking on the road and informs the driver if they begin to stray from their lane without obvious reason – such as a turn signal.

Volvo Cars’ researchers estimate that the LDW system can prevent 30-40 percent of these types of accidents at speeds between 70km/h and 100km/h.

Both systems initiate at 65km/h and stays active at speeds above 60km/h.




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