Last week, we wrote about the new Volvo V40, a stylish, powerful, and fuel efficient wagon/hatch that will not be offered in the United States. That car made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show yesterday, and although we’ve sadly (and finally) accepted that we won’t get one here, we are cautiously optimistic that some of its best safety features, including a number of world firsts, could soon arrive in the U.S.
Traditionally speaking, Volvo has been a world leader in terms of automotive safety and technological advancement, and the newest Swede is no exception. The Volvo V40 has a glut of new safety features, including Park Assist Pilot, Lane Keeping Aid, Enhanced Blind Spot Information System, Cross Traffic Alert, Road Sign Information, Active high Beam, Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert, Pedestrian Detection with Pedestrian Airbag Technology, Collision Warning and Auto Brake, “City Safety,” Driver Alert Control, and more.
Yes, some of these safety features are not new, not in the sense that they are exclusive. Many automakers already have Lane Keeping Aid, Blind Spot Information System, Driver Alert Control (perhaps you’d like some coffee?), and Adaptive Cruise Control. But most of those features as a whole, among others, are only ever present on cars that cost three times as much the Volvo V40. Couple that with new features, like Park Assist Pilot, which uses front, rear, and side-facing sensors to parallel park the car for the driver, whereby the driver only controls the gearbox and gas pedal; Road Sign Information, which uses a camera to scan the road and display upcoming road signs on the dash screen before you whiz by; and Pedestrian Detection and the Pedestrian Airbag Technology, which detects, auto brakes, and in the unsuccessful event that you do hit Grandma crossing the road, will deploy an external airbag to reduce the severity of injury!
OK, so you get the idea: Volvo is bringing its very best and latest features to the Volvo V40, its most basic model, thereby making its safety technology accessible to all. Except Americans.
Says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor Volvo Car Corporation, “The safety systems are intelligent and work together to make driving more pleasant and safe. They are designed to warn about threats. If necessary, they can also step in and intervene in critical situations. And, in some situations where the collision is unavoidable, there are safety features to help mitigate the consequences. However, this does not mean that these sophisticated systems take over the driving. Their main task is to assist the driver, thereby making the driving experience more comfortable and less complicated.”
All of this sounds great, but it’ll sound better when we know for sure which of these technologies will be installed on U.S. models, and how soon. We should have an update shortly.