So you think you can drive
I REALISED I MUST HAVE BEEN A BIT LAZY, BUT YOU KNOW HOW IT IS . . . I’M NOT ALONE
DRIVING a new car can make you a better driver. Well, it can if your name is Alan Desselss and the car in question is the Volvo XC60.
Desselss is the head of Volvo Cars and could have a barrow to push on his company’s new prestige SUV, but once you hear him talking you realise he is serious about safety in the XC.
‘‘I thought I was a pretty good driver, but I must have been wrong,’’ he says.
‘‘I got sick of all the bells and lights pretty quickly. They were all telling me I was doing something wrong.’’
Volvo already has a yellow warning light on its blind-spot radar, but the XC60 picks up the pace with a ‘‘drowsiness’’ indicator and a radar safety system that warns when you are too close to the vehicle in front.
The ‘‘City Safety’’ system will even take action, applying the brakes automatically, if it thinks you are going to bump something in traffic running at less than 30km/h.
Oh, and there is also a ‘‘lane departure’’ system which is triggered if you wander between the road markings without signalling a lane change.
‘‘I realised I must have been a bit lazy. But you know how it is,’’ Desselss says.
‘‘I’m not alone. One of my staff got a warning when they looked down at their mobile phone to check an incoming text and the vehicle started to move out of the lane.’’
The safety features of the XC60 are just what we would expect from Volvo, which has had a safety focus since it was founded in the 1920s.
BMW and Benz are doing similar work in several fields and cars with more and more driverassist features are going to be common in coming years.
Thankfully, no one has plans to build a car that can drive itself, so the technology, warnings, lights and alarms are all intended to make us do our driving better.
Just like Desselss.