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Old 21st March 2019, 21:00   #1
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Default Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding

Earlier this month, Volvo announced a 180 km/h speed limit on all its cars from 2020. The company has now presented ideas to curb drunk driving, driver distraction and over speeding at a presentation in Gothenburg, Sweden.

To curb speeding, the company plans to allow parents to limit how fast their kids can drive. Over time however, the car would be able to set speed limits based on GPS data – for e.g. around school zones or urban areas, the car would automatically reduce its speed.

To reduce the cases of an inebriated driver, Volvo aims to install cameras that can monitor the driver. The company declined usage of breath analyser based systems as the camera-based system can also detect drug intoxication - legal or otherwise as well as medical emergencies. The cameras would also check for distraction from cell phones by watching the driver’s eyes.

Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson has said that bad human behaviour is the limiting factor in the company's Vision 2020 plan, which aims to achieve zero serious injuries or fatalities in a new Volvo by year 2020. To this end, better technology than the one available in today’s cars would be needed.

Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding-img_2839.jpg

Source: Cnet

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Last edited by blackwasp : 21st March 2019 at 21:03.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 09:58   #2
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Default Re: Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding

This is a terrible analogy that might invite criticism but Iím sharing it regardless. As an Indian with reasonably liberal views, I never understood the right wing American approach to defending gun ownership. Their insistence that responsible ownership trumped (no pun intended) curtailing personal freedoms, was largely lost on me - till now. Iím increasingly uncomfortable with this approach Volvo has adopted. No camera or GPS based system can predict and account for every scenario. Iíve been a loyal Volvo customer because their cars were built for passenger and pedestrian safety, not by curtailing what the car could do, but by engineering and designing solutions that minimised the impact the car could have on people inside and outside the car. Dislike the direction this new trend is heading in.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 10:53   #3
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Default Re: Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding

While I admire Volvo's commitment to safety; I don't appreciate the direction this is heading in, we have too many intrusions as it is.

As mentioned by reihem, a lot of enthusiasts like/love Volvo for what it has done in this space in the past. We do have to thank them for the modern 3 point seatbelt, after all.

But cameras and what not? Thanks, but no thanks.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 11:44   #4
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Default Re: Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding

I think this is sign of things to come. Driver Monitoring via cameras and AI to catch distractions is an area there is a large amount of research happening. Sooner than later, this will start becoming standardized.

In a way it makes sense because driver distraction is a huge contributor to accidents. But the privacy and intrusion factor is definitely a concern.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 19:10   #5
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Default Re: Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding

This are just stop gap solutions, cause eventually, the 'best' way to avoid human errors is to eliminate the human from the loop completely, here comes the autonomous vehicle.

Do I like this direction in everything? Hell NO.

We are slowly but surely moving towards a surveillance based society. In all walks of life, there is an increasing amount of tracking that is happening. Did you know that the draft vehicle charging act/rule proposed in India mandated that all charging stations connect to a central server and every charging request be authenticated by this server before the commencement of a charging session?! What this means is that someone knows exactly where you are and can stop you right in your tracks if they don't want you to go further. Just an example of the things to come.

Volvo, like everyone else i believe, is introducing these features in good faith, to increase safety. The engineers always think well. However, slowly but surely, we're reaching a point where the human might be eliminated completely from everything that 'it' wants to do ('it' being the human, because humans are just objects for the machines). Cause humans are prone to errors, and we hate errors = we hate ourselves.

The point is, where do we, as a society, stop being utilitarian? When do we say that enough with the greater good, lets just keep some things imperfect?

(PS: I know this post is not much about automobiles, but unfortunately automobiles are leading the way in this 'remove the human' movement, and this direction by Volvo and their statements are really disturbing for me)
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Old 26th April 2019, 10:55   #6
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Default Re: Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding

I think they are wasting their time and resources on this. Autonomous cars are the future and do not require such intrusive monitoring. I would not step in a vehicle that has cameras watching over me.
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Old 27th April 2019, 14:54   #7
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Default Re: Volvo to tackle drunk driving, distraction and speeding

Quote:
Originally Posted by typlo View Post
I think they are wasting their time and resources on this. Autonomous cars are the future and do not require such intrusive monitoring. I would not step in a vehicle that has cameras watching over me.
I think Volvo is looking at the first step toward autonomous driving- the limitation of speed. I am not a fan of limiting speed. But I think it is essential to give a controlled environment to slowly phase-in autonomous driving cars. You might not want to step into a car that has cameras watching over you. But,it is essential to allow for monitoring both inside the car and outside the car to reduce the probability of accidents. Plus this article does not talk about autonomous cars at all. Just additional cameras to monitor driver behaviour around areas prone to pedestrian related accidents - schools, oldage homes, or redidential areas. Which I think is a brilliant idea.

Allow me to elaborate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
To curb speeding, the company plans to allow parents to limit how fast their kids can drive. Over time however, the car would be able to set speed limits based on GPS data – for e.g. around school zones or urban areas, the car would automatically reduce its speed.

To reduce the cases of an inebriated driver, Volvo aims to install cameras that can monitor the driver. The company declined usage of breath analyser based systems as the camera-based system can also detect drug intoxication - legal or otherwise as well as medical emergencies. The cameras would also check for distraction from cell phones by watching the driver’s eyes.
School zones and areas near old age homes are possibly the zones with highest accident capabilities. Kids running out of school without monitoring the roads are a common sight in India. And Europe. Basically all around the world. Old age people who suffer from dementia or have a unwanted reaction to any sleeplessness or sleep walking, tend to walk out without being aware of where they are going and what they are doing. The idea of limiting speed around such zones is to prevent accidental overspeeding. Not that one would overspeed. But with a hectic life all around, it is easy to miss a couple of speeding signs and Volvo wants to curtail this. There are special loadcases that we work on to simulate such low speed crashes against dummies of varying sizes and weights. So I can imagine our research being used for such scenarios.

As for the case of an inebriated driver, A driver unfit to drive, shouldnt drive the car. It doesnt matter if he is drunk, has taken sleeping pills or has had an medical emergency while driving. Not only is he at risk, but he puts the lives of the occupants, and other road users others at risk. What would happen if a driver has a heart failure while driving with his foot on the accelerator pedal while driving through a city market? It is unfathomable to think of the value of lives in such a scenario.

As for texting while driving, I dont think I need to elaborate more on this than the 1000s of posters here who absolutely abhor and detest it. And actually frown down upon it.

It all boils down to safety, both from within the car, and outside. And if a camera is the way to do it, so be it.

This data will be utilized to develop autonomous driving no doubt. Because people wouldnt want to get into a car that doesnt slow down when it has to. Who will take responsibility if the car goes 50kph in a 30kph zone and collides with a cyclist? Or a pedestrian?

Last edited by VaidhiR : 27th April 2019 at 15:15. Reason: More elaborate response.
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