February 18, 2003

New Volvo safety system to help prevent lane drifting

Troy, Michigan – The Volvo Car Corporation announced it will unveil an active safety system to prevent unintended lane departures during the SAE 2003 World Congress, March 3-6, Cobo Center, in Detroit, Michigan.

The Volvo Lane Departure Module consists of a camera with image processing software that detects current lane position. The camera measures distances from the camera centerline to the left and right lane markings. If a driver mismanages steering control, the torque of the steering wheel is designed to guide the driver back to the appropriate steering wheel angle required to come back in the lane.

“Results from test drives indicate that, despite its simplicity, the system is fully sufficient for helping drivers stay in the lane without being perceived as an autopilot,” says Jochen Pohl, Volvo Car Corporation and an author of the SAE technical paper.

A common existing approach to mediating lane departure today is the use of “rumble strips” – grooved pavement markings that alert the driver by causing a loud noise and vibration when the vehicle leaves its lane. Rumble strips only warn the driver after he has departed the lane. In many situations, this kind of warning comes too late, and the driver is not able to recover vehicle control.

The Volvo system is designed to give the driver time to regain control of the vehicle before an accident occurs. Development of a Haptic Intervention System for Unintended Lane Departure (SAE paper 2003-01-0282), will take place at 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 3, Room D2-15.

SAE World Congress, the world’s largest showcase of automotive engineering technologies, attracts attendees from more than 40 countries. This year’s host company is DaimlerChrysler.

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