|Images courtesy of Volvo|
The three-row crossover will be the first Volvo to bring to market two new vehicle safety technologies. The first is run-off road protection. From what Volvo has shown off, the system not only detects when the vehicle leaves the road, it also prepares for a potential crash or rough driving conditions. For example, the seat belts cinch up. The front seats also feature a type of shock absorber that cushions the spine from injury as the XC90 leaves the pavement and could potentially suffer from a hard landing.
As we all know, you can run off the road because you're tired or maybe you're suffering from a sudden medical event. Bad weather can also play a factor, with snow and torrential rain making it hard to see the lane lines. The problem is so bad that Volvo says half of all road fatalities in the United States involve a vehicle running off the pavement. The hope is that the new system will decrease that number.
Of course, it's better if you can just keep from running off the road, With that in mind, Volvo has included a Lane Keeping Aid system that provides extra power to the steering wheel to help drivers keep on the road easier. Another system warns the driver if he/she is too tired or distracted to drive safely.
The other big safety innovation for the 2016 XC90 is an automatic braking system that works at intersections. In other words, if you are going to make a left turn and the car detects a vehicle going straight in the opposing lane of traffic, the Volvo won't let you turn until the threat has passed. Considering how common these types of accidents seem to be, this innovation should also help save a considerable number of lives.
So it looks like Volvo is back on top of its game, thanks in large part to the financial boost provided by Geely Automobile (the Swedes' Chinese owner). There is no doubt that even more safety goodies included in the 2016 XC90 will be revealed as the Spring of 2015 release nears, and that these technologies will filter through the rest of the Volvo lineup as it goes through a similar transformation.