The brake pedal also releases to protect the driver’s feet from injury caused in traumatic situations.

To prevent the XC 90 from running off the road in the first place, Lane Keeping applies extra steering torque if the car is veering out of its lane unintentionally, and there’s even an amount of Driver Alert Control to warn tired or inattentive drivers. Another handy feature is Rest Stop Guidance, which will tell the driver how to get to the nearest rest stop.

Auto-brake

A second world first for the XC 90 is its ability to automatically brake at intersections.

This is a fairly common scenario at busy and high-speed intersections, where a driver is attempting to turn left or right, but does not yield to an oncoming car coming from the opposite direction.

In these circumstances, Volvo’s XC 90 detects the oncoming car and brakes to mitigate the collision.

“These two world firsts are further examples of how new technologies target substantial real- life traffic problems,” says David Pickett, Technical Manager at Volvo Car Australia.

Volvo Auto Brake

Rear enders and rolls

The XC 90 includes a number of other clever safety systems including pre-crash protection in rear impacts.

This happens when rear-facing radar detects an impending collision and tightens up the seat belts to keep the occupants in place, as well as locking the brakes to prevent the car from being pushed into a dangerous intersection.

The rear lights will also flash to signal the approaching car of a collision, and Volvo’s whiplash protection seats provides a pre-crash function to help reduce whiplash injuries.

Meanwhile, when it comes to loss of control, the XC 90’s rollover prevention and protection system adjusts elements including engine torque and applies the brakes to one or more wheels to counter the momentum needed to flip the car.

City Safety

Then there’s the situation of driving in close proximity, which is where quick thinking is often needed.