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Volvo SCC. Future-scenario study from 2001 that's already part of today's Volvo cars
1 March 2005
- Car for the future built for the human eye
- More than half the solutions are already in production or scheduled for introduction in the near future
- Improved passive protection systems
In early 2001, Volvo Cars took a major step into the future.
The main theme of the Volvo Safety Concept Car (SCC) was "superior visibility". However, the car also featured technology to boost personal safety, as well as improved passive safety systems.
The SCC thus highlighted a new dimension in research and development in the field of car safety.
The Volvo Safety Concept Car was a vision of the safety features that car buyers may enjoy in the future – and already today more than half the safety solutions shown in the SCC have become part of Volvo's production models or are scheduled for introduction in the near future.
Built for the eye
The Volvo Safety Concept Car is built for the eye. This does not primarily refer to its appealing design but rather to the fact that all the engineering and design work focused on the driver's eyes, thus creating the potential for better visibility.
When the driver gets behind the wheel, a sensor registers the position of his or her eyes. The seat then automatically adjusts to the appropriate setting for the driver's eyes so the driver benefits from the best possible visibility. Once seat adjustment is completed, the floor, pedals, steering wheel, centre console and gear lever all move to positions that put these controls within convenient reach.
The driver thus gets the best possible overview of what is happening both outside the car and in the instrument panel.
The Volvo SCC also features several other functions that improve visibility, such as:
The driver can see through the windscreen's dual A-posts thanks to a skeleton box-structure made of metal covered with transparent Plexiglas. The B-posts between the front and rear doors curve inwards echoing the contours of the seat frame to provide a free offset rear field of vision.
The B-posts, between the front and rear doors, are fitted inside the car and are integrated with the front seat frame to provide a free field of vision offset rear.
A sensor in the door mirror registers cars approaching from the rear and alerts the driver to vehicles in the blind spot.
In addition there are rear-facing cameras in the door mirrors that cover the blind spot.
The headlight beams adapt to the road, for instance by directing the light the way the steering wheel turns in a crossing or curve.
A front-facing camera monitors the car's position on the road and alerts the driver if the car shows signs of wandering off course.
A collision sensor monitors the distance to the vehicle in front and also registers if the gap closes too fast. If either happens, the driver is alerted by a red warning lamp that comes on. This warning can also be provided in the form of an audible buzzer.
The brake lights flash to warn following traffic when the brakes are applied hard.
Increased collision safety and personal
In addition, the Volvo SCC has a number of innovative features in the areas of driving safety, collision safety and personal protection.
Together with the car's B-posts, the front seat frames create a safety cage that is at least as effective in roll-over situations and side impacts as conventional B-posts are.
The car has two different types of four-point safety harness: the Criss-Cross Belt (X4) and the Brace Belt (V4). The X4 harness is based on a conventional three-point seat belt that is supplemented with an additional diagonal cross-chest belt. The V4 belt is a new four-point harness that has a centrally fitted fastener, with the shoulder straps forming a V-shape across the chest.
The rear seat has two vertically adjustable seat cushions that adjust steplessly to give children the best and safest seating position, irrespective of height.
Remote control becomes communication centre
The remote control has developed into the Volvo Personal Communicator (VPC), with a range of innovative features:
A fingerprint sensor customises the remote control unit.
All the driver has to do to unlock the door is to grasp the door handle – and the car can also be started without the need for an ignition key.
VPC transfers the driver's personal settings to the car, which automatically sets the driver's seat, steering wheel, pedals and so on correctly.
The system can also be pre-programmed with various destinations so that the navigation instrument is already set up when the driver unlocks the door.
A cardiac sensor registers heartbeats from both people and animals when the car is parked. The sensor is activated if anyone breaks into the car and hides there, or if a child or pet is accidentally left behind.
If the driver is more than 100 metres away from the car, VPC can still send information via a mobile phone. It is also possible to transfer information from a PC or palmtop computer.