Why Volvo sees connectivity as key to safety

Olive Keogh is a correspondent with Automotive News Europe. She can be reached at ofkeogh@gmail.com.Olive Keogh is a correspondent with Automotive News Europe. She can be reached at ofkeogh@gmail.com.
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Volvo’s top injury prevention specialist, Lotta Jakobsson, sees improved connectivity as more than just a way to stream films during a long trip. She sees it as a pathway to safer vehicles.

"Temporary road conditions, such as slippery sections, can be shared between vehicles and to and from infrastructure keepers,"  says Jakobsson, who is a senior technical leader at Volvo. "This enables safer road conditions and assists the driver to take extra caution when needed."

Jakobsson sees connectivity as a complement to on-board sensors. "Although mainly driven from other needs, such as infotainment, the connectivity aspects can also be used for safety," she told me.

For the last year, Volvo, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration have been conducting a cloud-based information-sharing project about problems caused by road friction, such as icy patches. It involves 1,000 cars fitted with Volvo’s newly developed slippery-road and hazard light alerts.

The alerts warn drivers about icy patches ahead and also tells them if another vehicle in the area has its hazard lights on. These systems are the first safety features in the Volvo cloud and the company says they will be made available to customers in the next few years. Prevention of ice-related accidents on Scandinavian roads is a priority of the project.

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