A very interesting fellow. Gibby has an energy level that 20-year-old folks would love to have. He loves being outdoors and is an avid cyclist. I mean avid. A short morning ride for him is 50-60 miles and he wants me to join him and his friends – yeah right. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago he was run off the road by a car. He is okay, nothing broken, just a couple of bruises. The problem was some kids were trying to do him harm! Many years ago, I used to ride my 10-speed to work at Volvo. One late afternoon an elderly lady hit me. She totaled my bike and I ended up on her hood. No injuries though. The problem is people cannot see everything.
Today, we announced another refinement to our Pedestrian Detection System with Full Auto Brake. Besides other cars, people and large animals, now we have added technology to identify people riding bicycles and apply full auto braking.
Here’s how it works:
And here are more details about this feature:
Volvo Car Group reveals world-first Cyclist Detection with full auto brake in Geneva
Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group, literally rolled out another Volvo world first in automotive safety at a press conference at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. He introduced the groundbreaking safety feature – a technology that detects and automatically brakes for cyclists swerving out in front of the car – by entering the stage on a bicycle.
The new functionality is an enhancement of the present detection and auto brake technology, and the package will be called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake. All cars equipped with pedestrian detection will also incorporate cyclist detection.
“As the leader in automotive safety, we have been first in the industry with all detection and auto brake technologies, from the first-generation brake support in 2006 to pedestrian detection with full auto brake in 2010,” said Doug Speck.
According to accident data, about 50 per cent of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car – a number that is counteracted by Volvo Cars’ new Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology.
New advanced software, including more rapid vision processing, has made it possible to extend the present detection and auto brake technology to cover also certain cyclist situations.
“Our solutions for avoiding collisions with unprotected road users are unique in the industry. By covering more and more objects and situations, we reinforce our world-leading position within automotive safety. We keep moving towards our long-term vision to design cars that do not crash,” said Doug Speck.
A cyclist in the same lane swerving out in front of the car is one incident type that is addressed by the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake, which will be available in the Volvo S60, XC60, XC70 and S80 models in 2013.
The advanced sensor system scans the area ahead. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car suddenly swerves out in front of the car as it approaches from behind and a collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied.
The car’s speed has considerable importance for the outcome of an accident. A lower speed of impact means that the risk of serious injury is significantly reduced.
Combining camera and radar
Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake consists of a radar unit integrated into the car’s grille, a camera fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror and a central control unit. The radar’s task is to detect objects in front of the car and to determine the distance to them. The camera determines the type of the objects. Thanks to the dual-mode radar’s wide field of vision, pedestrians and cyclists can be detected early on. The high-resolution camera makes it possible to spot the moving pattern of pedestrians and cyclists. The central control unit continuously monitors and evaluates the traffic situation.
The auto brake system requires both the radar and the camera to confirm the object. With the advanced sensor technology, it is then possible to apply full braking power immediately when necessary. The technology also covers vehicles driving in the same lane.
I know other car companies are now offering Pedestrian Detection Systems, but once again we are unique in pursuing safety features that keep us on track for our Vision 2020 project: By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo. As mentioned before, there is no one complete technology solution but there is one belief that we can do it, one technology at a time.
So to Gibby and friends who cycle around our country, we are helping to make the roads a tad bit safer with this new feature.
danPosted in news, pedestrian safety, safety | 3 Comments »
“Oars” kind of rhymes with “horsepower,” right? OK, maybe not quite … anyway, we just released what we’ll present at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and you can expect more oars than ever.
There are three kinds of ‘Concept Cars’: 1. Concepts that were built when everyone had money and were dreamed up during an outdoor BBQ when the ice chest was full of beers. These never saw daylight after an auto show. 2. Concepts built to wet our taste buds at something more than a drawing, something like a glimpse into our future plans. 3. Concepts in-between. Below is the in-between.
I don’t remember ever seeing any of our cars with 508 HP. This S60 must have been anointed with moss from way up north in Lapland, rubber shavings from Nurburgring’s Flugplatz section, and metal filings from a V10 engine someone built years ago and tried to pass it off as a Volvo project. This is one rocket child from Polestar’s garage!
OK, so I’ve no clue if this will be, in one form or another, ‘production.’ I suspect we might see ideas used somewhere down the road, but no one is fessing up to anything. Staffers here at Volvo know better than ‘talking to Johnston.’ So print out this entry, stuff it into an envelope and put it under your pillow. I can assure you the tooth fairy will not take it, but if Thor shows up, you are on your own.
Volvo S60 Polestar Concept — With 508 hp — Debuts at L.A. Auto Show
LOS ANGELES (Nov. 20, 2012) – With the glamour and bright lights that symbolize the City of Angels, what better place for the global auto show debut of the Volvo S60 Polestar Concept than the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show? After all, the 508-horsepower beast, built by Volvo’s official performance partner, Polestar, is arguably the most glamorous and lightning-quick Volvo concept car ever made.
“This is Polestar’s interpretation of the Volvo S60,” says Christian Dahl, founder and CEO of Polestar. “It’s a car developed with our own preferences in mind — although we know they are also shared by active drivers.”
Make no mistake, it is an exotic in its own right — but with refinement and precise handling. All of this technology results in a more intense, real-life Volvo driving experience.
“We approached this project by looking at the production Volvo S60 as a platform for a potential race car — and the culmination of that data went into the design of the S60 Polestar Concept,” explained Jan Andersson, chief engineer at Polestar.
The S60 Polestar Concept delivers the genuine Volvo driving experience with a high level of power and handling. The turbocharged, inline six-cylinder engine has been tuned to deliver a considerable increase in power and torque. The 508 horsepower and 424 lb.-ft. of torque seem to dwarf the numbers associated with the horsepower and torque found in the T6 engine of the production car: 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque.
The combination of a lowered, widened and reinforced chassis, a tuned Haldex all-wheel-drive system, and Öhlins suspension makes the car uniquely suitable for both high-performance driving and long-distance traveling.
According to Volvo Polestar racing driver Robert Dahlgren, “It is, by far, the most impressive street Volvo I’ve ever driven. But I must also say that the genuine Volvo feeling is still there.”
Polestar has been Volvo’s performance partner since 1996, offering tuning technology and parts enhancement to production-model vehicles. A Polestar-tuned S60 R-Design and XC60 R-Design currently are offered in the Volvo lineup, bumping their already stout performance from 300 hp and 325 lb.-ft. of torque to 325 and 354, respectively.
For 2013 they also come in head-turning Rebel Blue … so they look similar to their cousin: the S60 Polestar Concept.
The Polestar performance upgrade can be purchased and installed in applicable new and used Volvos at any Volvo dealer. More information about Polestar and its expanding parts and technology offerings for Volvo production vehicles can be found at Polestar.com.
Brief Technical Overview: Polestar S60 Concept
• Volvo T6 inline six
• 0-100 kmh (62 mph) = 3.9 seconds
• Top speed more than 300 kmh (more than 186 mph)
• 508 hp @ 6500rpm
• 575Nm (424 lb.-feet) @ 5500rpm
• Max rpm: 7100
• Modified cylinder head and combustion chambers
• Modified inlet manifold and air intake
• Garret 3171 turbo
• Ferrita 3.5″ stainless steel exhaust system
If you have read this far, guess you’d like to see more photos. We will get some posted in next couple of days, right from LA.
-danPosted in concept car, LA Auto Show, news, Polestar, S60, Volvo Concept | 3 Comments »
We just announced this special program:
Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. We at Volvo Cars North America have seen the power and destruction from this storm first hand, as our headquarters are in Rockleigh, NJ.
While our communities are being rebuilt we would like to help get you back on the road. Whether it’s repairing your storm damaged vehicle, or replacing it altogether, we’re here for you.
• Our Customer Care Center is here to answer any question you might have. You can contact them at 1-800-550-5658 or submit an inquiry here.
• Your local retailer is available to help you with any of your automotive needs. Click here to visit our retailer locator.
• And for those of you whose vehicle was damaged during the storm Volvo will extend employee pricing over the next few weeks and contribute up to $1,000 towards your insurance deductible and other damage related costs. The details of the program are listed below.
Customer eligibility: Individuals that experienced damage/loss to their vehicle during Hurricane Sandy (10/24/12 – 11/3/12) and reside in a FEMA designated disaster or emergency area.
Required supporting documentation: Please provide proof of a claim for damage/loss to your insured vehicle from your insurance company and U.S. registration documents showing VIN, name, address and expiration date for your vehicle. Supporting documentation must be available at time of delivery.
Residency in FEMA designated disaster or emergency areas: Please provide proof of residency (copy of U.S. driver’s license) in one of the designated FEMA disaster/emergency areas. Your local retailer will be able to assist you if you need confirmation of these designated areas.
Take retailer delivery between November 1, 2012 and January 2, 2013. Hurricane Relief Employee Pricing plus $1,000 is towards a lease or purchase and is available on any new Volvo. Customer eligibility requirements must be met for Hurricane Relief Employee Pricing plus $1,000 Incentive Program. Please see retailer for details. This offer cannot be combined with the Loyalty Bonus Offer.
We hope this doesn’t come across as “sales-ey” – it’s not meant to be. Watching the news, before, during, and after Sandy, I’m amazed how people are pulling together to help. I think what we are doing will hopefully lessen the burden a little for those in our family.
danPosted in news, Quality of Life, Volvo | Comments Off
Rockleigh (Volvo Cars of North America) took a nasty hit. I’ve never seen us close for two days. Laura in our PR department is still without power. This morning, she was on a quest for a cup of coffee, and only McDonald’s was open, and there was a 10 minute wait. Most importantly, it seems all our employees are okay.
While we wait and tally up what this means to our retailers, I was thinking back to the time when a cargo ship was sinking in thick fog on December 14, 2002 while carrying a load of BMW’s and Volvos (350 of them) bound for America. It was a really nasty ocean storm, and the ship and all of its cargo were deemed total scrap. Funny, I had a call from a guy in the Netherlands who wanted to buy all 350. Besides not being ours at that point, we can only wonder what he had in mind.
Which brings up an important point/issue you might face in the future. Be aware of flood damaged cars…any car. Problem is they may run just fine but the electronics could be damaged, especially the SRS and supporting systems. Ask for the title before buying. If it says Salvage, I’d pass on it.
This ship was sawed into BIG pieces by a cable saw, kind of like a really big cheese knife, absolutely amazing. Here are pictures of that ship that sunk in 2002.
The following graph came from Edmunds.com news service today. I haven’t seen this kind of positive strength in the market, or for our brand in years. Of course the economy took a nasty swipe at everyones sales, yet I think what is encouraging is our car sales seem to be heading North – with all fingers crossed. In our business, what is a new product today, takes many years to get ready for production. It’s not like we can turn off or change directions overnight, so there has to be faith in what is planned and that there will be a market for what we make. I think with S60 leading and other styling work we are doing, we have good plans for an even stronger future.
Perhaps the biggest change will be how we handle our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Our decision to expand our four-cylinder range is right in step with the kind of responsibility a manufacturer must take to reduce CO2 emissions.
It’s going to be an interesting ride as we keep rolling along.
“Other small makes with the largest percentage gains included Saab USA’s 42.7-percent improvement (although volume remained meager at 4,614 units), Porsche Cars North America at 28.1 percent (on 22,644 total sales) and Volvo Cars, which improved 26.8 percent to 52,155 sales through September,” according to Edmunds.com.
Here’s the full article: http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/10/auto-sales-2011-everybody-gaining-except-japan.html
Stay warm…it is far from warm here.
danPosted in Electrification, fuel efficiency, news, S60, Volvo Sales | 1 Comment »
Doesn’t seem that long ago we posted this blog entry:
On October 25, 2011, Consumer Reports released an overall summary of their 2011 readers survey on Reliability. Here’s what they said about our S60:
Mixed results from Europe
European models continue to be a blend of reliable and not so reliable vehicles. Overall, European vehicles’ reliability is slightly below that of domestic models. Of the 58 European models for which Consumer Reports has sufficient data, 37 (64 percent) scored average or better in predicted reliability.
Among European brands, Volvo ranked the highest at 10th overall. It was helped by the redesigned S60, which was above average in its first year.
Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey Ratings are unrelated to Consumer Reports vehicle road-test results, but are a key factor in determining whether or not Consumer Reports recommends a car. CR only recommends models that have performed well in tests conducted at its 327-acre Auto Test Center in Connecticut, and that have average or better predicted reliability based on its annual survey. In addition, vehicles must perform at least adequately in government or insurance-industry crash and rollover tests, if tested, in order to be Recommended by Consumer Reports.
Full reliability history charts and predicted-reliability ratings on hundreds of 2012 models, plus a list of what’s up and what’s down, best and worst models, and a comparison chart of brands can be found online at www.ConsumerReports.org, in the December issue and in the latest Consumer Reports Cars publication, Best & Worst New Cars for 2012 ($7.99 U.S./$8.99 Canada), on sale November 15, 2011 everywhere magazines are sold.
Go buy their annual report, and see for yourself what we’ve been up to these past few years.
Not bad for a brand new car. As of last month, we sold 15,799, putting S60 way ahead of all other other cars by sales volume. We just came back from a long trip and funny how many people looked at our Vibrant Copper S60 T5. Even a BMW owner gave us a thumbs up. : )
dannews, S60 | 4 Comments »
I just got back from a large gathering of automotive journalists in Elkhart Lake, WI, and now I’m sitting in the airport waiting for our delayed flight home. About 50 manufacturing folks and a good 100 journalists were there, to drive each others cars and meet/greet for a couple of days.
I was test driving a Smart car and the guy in front was doing no more than 30 mph and coasting to a stop in a Honda. The guy I was with said the Honda driver is a ‘hyper mileage driver’. Interesting. He coasts to stop signs, shuts off his car and coasts into parking lots, well you get the idea. Granted, he probably gets fantastic mileage but you can imagine how unsafe his habits are to himself and others.
Fuel economy isn’t about hyper mileage driving, it’s about being safe and fuel efficient. Here is one way we are working towards that end.
Volvo Car Corporation tests flywheel technology
- cuts fuel consumption with up to 20 percent
A light, cheap and very eco-efficient solution that makes a four-cylinder engine feel like a six at the same time as fuel consumption drops with up to 20 percent. This autumn, Volvo Car Corporation will be one of the world’s first car makers to test the potential of flywheel technology on public roads. The company has received a grant of 6.57 million Swedish kronor from the Swedish Energy Agency for developing next-generation technology for kinetic recovery of braking energy in a joint project together with Volvo Powertrain and SKF.
“Our aim is to develop a complete system for kinetic energy recovery. Tests in a Volvo car will get under way in the second half of 2011. This technology has the potential for reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. What is more, it gives the driver an extra horsepower boost, giving a four-cylinder engine acceleration like a six-cylinder unit,” relates Derek Crabb, Vice President VCC Powertrain Engineering.
60,000 revs per minute
The new system, known as Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), is fitted to the rear axle. During retardation, the braking energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs per minute. When the car starts moving off again, the flywheel’s rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission.
The combustion engine that drives the front wheels is switched off as soon as the braking begins. The energy in the flywheel can be used to accelerate the vehicle when it is time to move off once again, or to power the vehicle once it reaches cruising speed.
“The flywheel’s stored energy is sufficient to power the car for short periods. However, this has a major impact on fuel consumption. Our calculations indicate that the combustion engine will be able to be turned off about half the time when driving according to the official New European Driving Cycle,” explains Derek Crabb.
Since the flywheel is activated by braking and the duration of the energy storage – that is to say the length of time the flywheel spins – is limited, the technology is at its most effective during driving featuring repeated stops and starts. In other words, the fuel savings will be greatest when driving in busy urban traffic as well as during active driving.
If the energy in the flywheel is combined with the combustion engine’s full capacity, it will give the car an extra boost of 80 horsepower, and thanks to the swift torque build-up this translates into rapid acceleration, cutting 0 to 100 km/h figures significantly.
Carbon fibre for a lightweight and compact solution
Flywheel propulsion assistance was tested in a Volvo 240 already back in the 1980s, and flywheels made of steel have been evaluated by various manufacturers in recent times. However, since a unit made of steel is large and heavy and has rather limited rotational capacity, this is not a viable alternative.
The flywheel that Volvo Car Corporation will use in its test car is made of carbon fibre. It weighs about six kilograms and has a diameter of 20 centimetres. The carbon fibre wheel spins in a vacuum to minimise frictional losses.
“We are not the first manufacturer to test flywheel technology. But nobody else has applied it to the rear axle of a car fitted with a combustion engine driving the front wheels. If the tests and technical development go as planned, we expect cars with flywheel technology to reach the showrooms within a few years,” says Derek Crabb. He concludes: “The flywheel technology is relatively cheap. It can be used in a much larger volume of our cars than top-of-the-line technology such as the plug-in hybrid. This means that it has potential to play a major role in our CO2-cutting DRIVe Towards Zero strategy.”Posted in Environment, news, Technology | 4 Comments »
Our friends up at Hemmings Motor News put up some nice photos of an 1800 ES ( later to morph into C30) up on their website.
“Swedish firm Caresto, led by former Volvo engineer and specialist builder Leif Tufvesson, chose to mark the 50th anniversary of the debut of Volvo’s P1800 sports coupe with an exciting resto-mod show car that they dubbed the P1800 GT.”
Interesting that they used an early ’egg crate’ grill on a ’72 ES, and the little air scoop near windshield is from around ’62. Car looks nasty.
Thanks Mark for your Hemmings Motor News piece.
danPosted in news, Volvo History | 2 Comments »
Around 1995, in our Rockleigh office, we had drawings of concepts that VCC was working on. One was an SUV. Then one day the drawing was gone. No one fessed up to taking it, it was just ‘gone’. Rolling forward to 2000 when we showed XC90, I’ll be darned if that wasn’t it..I mean the one on that poster that no one knows where it went…it’s here.
Looking back, and in a sense forward, and listening to Peter Horbury, our design chief, talk about how he, and other designers strive for timeless design, XC90 seems to be heading in that direction. The car has such nice lines, it’s hard to imagine it being penned over 11 years ago, that today it has that strong Swedishness of Volvo. It’s a design that doesn’t ask you to define what the designer was thinking, it’s just one comfortable looking piece of steel.
Considering the technology we introduced with XC90 dates back to 2001, in my opinion, it is still one of, if not the safest SUV being offered. Before the car was launched we pow wow’d how to differentiate our SUV from all others, considering we were about the last to market with one, someone said ‘roll it over’ – so we did. I watched one test, at 35 mph it rolled 3.25 times, what noise.
Amazing how much noise it made, kind of gave everyone goose bumps watching it roll.
Only had one glass crack and aside from being really beat up, the doors remained closed and we could open them up. Actually the only real damage was when the fork lift tried to roll it back on all tires, it punched holes in the doors. So where am I going with this?
James just came back from Mudfest. Held annually up in Seattle, Washington by the Northwestern Automotive Press Association, this event determines who has what it takes to tackle…you guessed it MUD. This year, lots of mud was on hand. Anyway, James called from the SFO airport, waiting for his connection flight home. I could tell he was bummed out, “It’s an old SUV, still looks good but there was so many more newer designed models…we’ll never win.” Told him to go buy a loaf of sourdough bread and get on his flight home. We know technically it’s built tough, it’ll go just about anywhere, it’s all about Volvoness, but knowing journalists, they like the ‘whats new SUV’ factor and, well XC90 is not whats new.
James wrote this press release:
Volvo XC90 still impressive after all these years
2011 XC90 takes top honors in its class at annual NWAPA Mudfest
Irvine, CA (April 4, 2011)- The Volvo XC90 has been awarded yet another accolade at the annual Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) Mudfest. Already a two-time defending SUV of the Year champion (2002 and 2003), the Volvo XC90 was named best Luxury SUV by the group at its recently held 2011 event.
Up against stiff competition from BMW (X3), Infiniti (QX56), Mercedes-Benz (R350 BlueTEC 4 MATIC), and Land Rover (Range Rover Sport), the XC90 3.2 AWD R-Design impressed the Mudfest jurors with its tremendous value, sporty good looks and seating for seven.
“It’s great to see such a grizzled veteran of the Mudfest competition still considered relevant today,” said Doug Speck, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. “To go up against competitors, some of which weren’t around when the XC90 went on sale in 2002, and still walk away with a category win illustrates why the XC90 remains one of our top sellers. I couldn’t be happier.”
This year, Mudfest was held at the DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington. Twenty six of the leading automotive journalists from the Northwest drove and evaluated 20 different 2011 SUVs and crossovers during the competition.
The Pacific Northwest is true SUV territory and remains one of the nation’s top sales markets for the entire line of Volvo’s XC vehicles. During the one-day event, the XC90 was tested vigorously both on- and off-road. Pavement tests allowed the jurors to once again experience Roll Stability Control, the world-first anti-rollover safety system introduced in the XC90. Today, such systems are mandated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for SUVs and similar vehicles. Off-road, the XC90 shined with its advanced Instant Traction all-wheel-drive system, which places power to the wheel with the most traction.
I’d say it’s a timeless design.
Have a great week.
danPosted in Awards, news, safety, Volvo History, XC90 | 1 Comment »
Great article over at Edmunds about state by state cell phone restrictions. A few weeks ago, I wrote I’ve put my texting and phone use on hold while driving. Just did a 1200 mile round trip drive and didn’t text once. Ok, I did answer my phone a couple of times, but where I’m normally answering/calling while driving, I didn’t. I just kept thinking of an accident where I hurt or kill someone while using a phone and my stomach gets bunched up in knots. What a horrible thing to do to someone.
Tip of the day: sign up for their news feed.Posted in distracted driving, news, safety, texting | 2 Comments »