As a paragon of safety in the automotive world, Volvo is adopting new technologies that prevent you rear-ending other cars or drifting off the road. The company announced a collection of new radar- and camera-based safety features for its 2008 Volvo V70, XC70, and S80 models. One of the more cutting edge features is called Driver Alert Control. The DAC system monitors the car's position relative to the lane markings. If it detects drifting in the lane over a long period, the car assumes your concentration is impaired, and flashes a coffee cup image on the instrument cluster. We think this technology could be adapted for a Tourist Alert Control, which would pull the car over in the nearest turnout if it senses you are driving too slowly on a scenic road, and have a mile of cars backed up behind you.
Other new safety systems from Volvo include Adaptive Cruise Control. The ACC system uses radar to detect the distance between your car and the car in front of you, slowing your car to match the other car's speed if your cruise control is set for a higher speed. We've used this technology on several other cars and have come to appreciate it. A similar feature uses that same radar to let you know if you are following at a safe distance, even if the cruise control is off. Volvo is also adopting Lane Departure Warning, using the same camera and system as the DAC. This system will sound a warning if you cross a lane line without signaling.
Volvo did an excellent job with its Blind Spot Information System, which we tested on the