Volvo is stepping up its safety game with the announcement that it is partnering with Autoliv — an automotive safety company — which will bring autonomous safety features rolled into a compelling autonomous driving safety bundle. Is Volvo trying to capitalize on the recent excitement over autopilot features from the recent rollout of Tesla’s autopilot features, or is it in this for real? Digging in leaves me excited but pining for a bit more detail to get over the hints of vaporware and to paint a picture of a compelling product.
This pilot program aspires to, by 2017, deliver 100 autonomous driving vehicles to normal families and urban dwellers for use in their normal lives. These vehicles are expected to drive down the number of accidents in the city of Gothenburg, as over 90% of all fatal accidents are a result of human error. I personally wonder what percentage of that is due to smartphone use, but maybe that’s just me….
While autopilot and its ability to free up time otherwise spent driving is definitely packing the sex appeal in this package, it’s undeniable that the safety features might be the most meaningful. As is often the case, we want the cool factor — the newest, fastest, thinnest phone — and these trends translate over into the automotive world all too well. We want the new toy to show off to our friends, but I bet most of us would also be tweeting it up a la Jeffrey Katzenberg if we were in a crazy accident and lived only as a result of one of these über safe stallions from the Volvo stables. Having said that, Volvo knows that sexy sells and has put together 2 videos highlighting the sexy that autopilot brings to the market and to its brand. Check out this one, made by Volvo, uploaded by Motor1: