Volvo fails crash test

NT News - Motoring - - NEWS - By PAUL GOVER

THE safety of Volvo’s world-first pedes­trian pro­tec­tion sys­tem is un­der fire again af­ter a se­ries of failed tests in­volv­ing Aus­tralian jour­nal­ists.

The lat­est mishap fol­lows a crash ear­lier in the year when a Volvo crashed into a truck in­stead of brak­ing au­to­mat­i­cally to avoid it.

This time the Pedes­trian De­tec­tion sys­tem failed to trig­ger as the lat­est V60 ap­proached a hu­manoid dummy dur­ing a demon­stra­tion at Verona in Italy.

The in­ci­dent also re­veals that Volvo en­gi­neers dis­creetly mod­ify the in­flat­able dum­mies to trick the cars radar sys­tem into de­tect­ing a pedes­trian.

More than 650 demon­stra­tions passed with­out in­ci­dent dur­ing the V60 press pre­view in Italy but things went wrong for the Aussies.

‘‘'I am very sad this has hap­pened,’’ Volvo’s head of ac­tive safety Jonas Tisell said. ‘‘We know the technology works, but I am not happy with the demon­stra­tion meth­ods we are us­ing.’’

Volvo be­lieves the fail­ures, which saw the dummy struck sev­eral times, oc­curred be­cause a small plas­tic panel cov­ered in alu­minium foil that sits in a sand­bag at the dummy was not in­stalled cor­rectly.

Volvo also sus­pects a trac­tor and trailer di­rectly be­hind the dummy but some dis­tance away has con­fused the pedes­trian warn­ing sys­tem.

Tisell in­sists there is no need to changes to the cal­i­bra­tion of the pedes­trian warn­ing technology but Volvo will re­view its pub­lic demon­stra­tion pro­ce­dures for its crash avoid­ance sys­tems.

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