To deal with this, Volvo has introduced a suite of systems called “City Safety” used to brake the vehicle when something gets in the way and the driver does not brake in time.

Volvo City Smart1

“City Safety is one of the most advanced standard crash prevention offers you can find in a modern car. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night,” explains David Pickett.

“We are now able to cover the whole span from dusk to dawn by a smarter and faster high- sensitive camera combined with advanced exposure control.”

Blind spot detection adds to this technology to help inform the driver when a car is hidden from the mirrors, with an alert if vehicles are approaching fast from behind and tailgating.

Volvo lane change

Reading the signs

Sometimes it’s not all that clear what the speed limit is, so Volvo’s Extended Road Sign Information system will remind you by using a camera to look for and interpret road speed signs, and place a speed indication symbol directly on your speedometer. This is certainly handy and was surprising accurate considering the different colours and sizes of speed limit-signs that we drove by.

Volvo - speed sign

Follow the leader

The last feature to grab our attention felt built for the tedious stop-start that is city driving, and that was Queue Assist.

This essentially allows the vehicle to ‘follow’ the car in front of it, including starting and stopping as well as turning.

While it’s not recommended to take your eyes off the road, Queue Assist alleviates some of the concentration required during long traffic jams, and prevents minor fender benders. The system disengages above 60kph, and you still need to have one hand on the steering wheel for it to activate.

Volvo Traffic

Volvo’s XC 90 is on sale in Australia now, with drivetrains ranging from diesel (D5) to petrol (T6) with a hybrid version (T8) to be released later in the year. Depending on the model, prices range from $89,950 to $100,950 before on-roads.