10 May 2010

Volv-oh dear

S60 safety demonstration ends badly. And crashily. Fail

And the TopGear Award for Impact through Technology goes to... Volvo!

At a media event in Sweden over the weekend, the Swedish manufacturer chose to show off its latest technology: the new collision detection system on the S60.

You know how the tech works: sensors in the car detect obstacles in the road ahead, applying the brakes to slow or even stop the car before a big crunchy mess occurs.

A fine idea... so long as it works. Volvo's finest engineers released the unmanned S60 from its hutch at a speed of just under 30mph, sat back and...

Well, fast-forward to about 30 seconds into this clip and you'll find out. It doesn't require a firm grasp of Swedish to figure out that it doesn't go well.

Volvo blamed the failure of the technology on a battery issue which, it says, would have been easily spotted by a human driver. The collision detection system had also worked perfectly several times before the crash.

Maybe it was all a cunning PR ruse to demonstrate the effectiveness of the S60's crash structures.

Maybe, however, the Collision Detection System worked exactly as hoped, informing all and sundry after the impact that, yep, there had indeed been a collision.

We fear not. Whichever way, someone's going to have to go a long way to top this as Fail of the Month...

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