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28.2.11

After decades of residential speeding campaigns, one car manufacturer has finally pulled out all the stops.

Volvo has developed a pedestrian detection system that automatically brakes a car to a halt whenever someone steps out in front of it.
Designed to save lives on urban streets, the 'support function' kicks in at speeds of up to 22mph, although the technology 'is active at all speeds'.

It works by using radar and camera technology to watch out for other vehicles and pedestrians ahead of the car.
Should a collision be imminent, an audible warning is made to alert the driver, and if there is no response the car is immediately brought to an emergency stop.
The system doesn't work at night or in poor weather, and Volvo is quick to point out that 'it is always the driver that is responsible for driving safely'.
Fourteen per cent of all those killed in car accidents in Europe are pedestrians; this figure stands at 11 per cent in the U.S.
The Swedish car manufacturer estimates that its detection system would reduce the number of pedestrians killed by more than 20 per cent, while the number of those seriously injured would fall by almost 30 per cent.
In a further 30 per cent of incidents, a collision would be entirely avoided, Volvo said.
The system is an optional extra in the Volvo XC60, S60 and V60.
The collision warning system is also programmed to react if the vehicle in front is at a standstill or is moving in the same direction.


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