Revhead Ramblings: Is the Newest Safety Tech All It’s Cracked up to Be?
- April 9, 2019
- Posted by: Alex Baker
- Category: Revhead Ramblings
In the past two months, Volvo has announced that their cars will be limited to 112mph from 2021 along with tech to detect drowsiness and drunkenness at the wheel.
The EU has since announced mandatory speed limiters, or intelligent speed assist, for all new cars by 2022. Along with drowsiness detection, ‘alcohol interlock facilitation’ and some other safety features. How effective will these systems be though?
Read Between the Lines
Volvo said, ‘no one should be killed in one of its cars by 2020’. That’s ‘in’, not ‘by’. Volvo is already pretty good at keeping their passengers alive, but it seems they’ve hit a brick wall when it comes to saving those not inside a fortified 2-tonne metal block.
Despite the pre-collision warnings, auto braking systems and pedestrian detection tech, Volvo says its City Safety system can detect cyclists, but only adult cyclists riding adult-size bicycles. Therefore, this creates a problem for “partially obscured cyclists, or cyclists if the background contrast is poor, or cyclists wearing clothing that obscures the body outline, or bicycles loaded with large objects”.
A False Sense of Security
So, these terms and conditions prove we can’t be reliant on the safety systems in our cars, even mandatory speed limiters aren’t fool-proof. Bath and North East Somerset Council spent nearly one million pounds to create 13 new 20mph zones.
A report one year later found that the rate of people killed or seriously injured has gone up in seven out of the 13 new sites. This has been seen up and down the country too. More people are being hurt because fewer people are taking care and pay less attention as they’re driving slower.
Speed Limiters Can’t Solve Everything
EU commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said that the package of safety measures she plans “can have the same kind of impact as when seatbelts were first introduced”. The issue with that is seatbelts save lives regardless of what you did with them, the same applies to airbags and electronic stability control. Tackling driver inattentiveness would dramatically decrease road deaths, but by introducing these electric nannies and limiters, we’re potentially making it worse.
Unfortunately, this will be my final Revhead Ramblings blog, I’ll instead be focusing on talking to more dealers in my new role in Click’s Sales Team. As of next week, you’ll be left in the capable hands of Josh Locke whose new feature will be launching next Tuesday. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings as much as I enjoyed writing them, and on that bombshell…
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