Volvo S60 gets 390hp hybrid, Polestar power to follow

Volvo S60 T8 hybrid

Volvo has given the S60 a stocky set of hybrid muscles. Meet the new T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. It’s got 390hp courtesy of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine connected to an 87hp electric motor.

S60 T8 Twin Engine: 0-62 in 4.6 seconds, 176mpg

Volvo S60 T8 hybrid

The T8’s clever powertrain delivers the best of both worlds. When you’re not getting to 62mph in 4.6 seconds, you could be getting a WLTP-tested 176mpg. Quite what it can do in the real-world remains to be seen, but it should be impressive for the performance of the car.

It has an electric-only range of 36 miles, and the overall CO2 output is just 39g/km. The only downside is that the T8 is over £10,000 more than the non-hybrid T5 packing near enough the same four-cylinder engine. The S60 T8 costs from £49,805, compared to the T5’s £37,935. As an uber-efficient hybrid, however, it does offer the benefit of cheap company car tax for 40 percent tax payers – just £265 a month.

R-Design Plus – looks to match the muscle

Volvo S60 T8 hybrid

The T8 Twin Engine S60 is available exclusively in R-Design Plus trim, which means all plug-in T8s will have sporty looks to hint at the power within. The visual upgrade consists of high-gloss black exterior trim pieces and a choice between 18-, 19- and 20-inch allows.

The T5 non-hybrid also gets a 12mm drop in ride height, stiffer springs, thicker anti-roll bars and faster monotube dampers.

On the inside for both, you get part-leather sports seats, metal mesh alloy inlays, gearshift paddles and a head-up display. As standard in the S60 R-Design Plus, you get a touchscreen with sat nav, voice control, adaptive LED lights, all-round parking sensors, hands-free boot and autonomous emergency city braking.

Polestar performance on the way

Volvo S60 T8 hybrid

The last tease from Volvo is that there is a ‘Polestar Engineered’ variant of the S60 on the way. No, that’s not the full fat 600hp+ Polestar, but it will be sportier, taking the T8 powertrain up to 405hp. Not quite an M car fighter, but appreciated all the same.

“With R-Design Plus and Inscription Plus, we can offer the choice of a more focused driving experience or something more luxurious – qualities that resonate strongly with private owners and business users in the premium mid-size saloon market,” said Matt Galvin, sales director of Volvo Car UK.

“Add the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid T8 Twin Engine to the mix and we’re sure the extended S60 range will make a significant contribution to Volvo Car UK’s continued sales success.”

Volvo is the UK’s fastest-growing premium car brand

Volvo is the UK's fastest-growing premium car brand

Buoyed by the success of the XC40 small SUV, Volvo is now the fastest-growing upmarket car brand in the UK. Sales are up 27 percent in the first half of 2019, with just under 30,000 cars sold.

This means Volvo is well on the way to meeting its 60,000 sales target for 2020. The company’s global sales are up 7.3 percent, to more than 340,000 cars.

Leading the charge are the XC40 and larger XC60 SUV. The XC40 has been the marque’s best-seller for the last six months.

Volvo is the UK's fastest-growing premium car brand

Volvo won’t get complacent, though, says UK MD Kristian Elvefors: “We will develop our model range to ensure it continues to set new standards, while also introducing innovative ways for people to access and experience our products and services.

“Our sustained growth in the UK and globally sets the seal on the successful transformation of our brand.” 

Volvo’s strength bucks the trend of the new car market, which has shrunk by three percent year-on-year. Volvo’s market share has increased from 1.8 percent to 2.3 percent.

The Swedish marque chalks its success up to a ‘comprehensively renewed product range’. It describes its offering as ‘a superb line-up of award-winning models that resonate strongly with customers’.

Volvo is the UK's fastest-growing premium car brand

In the grand scheme of things, however, Volvo trails its German rivals by some margin. Total Mercedes-Benz sales in the UK in 2018 were more than 160,000 cars. SUVs are working wonders for Volvo, but its more conventional saloons struggle to penetrate the German stronghold.

Volvo’s performance in the used market is also strong. UK sales of Volvo Select used cars rose by 13 percent versus 2018, with a total of 16,653 units sold.

Volvo launches new premium test drive service

Volvo Test Drive+ service

Volvo has launched a new premium test drive service in the UK, called Test Drive+, in response to ever-growing expectations from premium car buyers. 

Available initially on the XC40 compact SUV, Test Drive+ is “designed to put total control in customer’s hands”, says Volvo.

Test drives are available at Volvo dealers, or cars can be delivered to the customer’s home or place of work. An hour is available, although extended test drives can be arranged for up to four days.

Bookings are done online or by calling a team of Test Drive+ agents, with customers able to view a real-time calendar to see what dates are available.

A confirmation email is sent once the booking has been made, and the customer will be directed to a reserved parking space upon arrival at the dealer.

VIP to the max!

‘At ease and valued’

Volvo premium test drive service

Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK managing director, said: “The test drive is a critical element when people are making the important decision about whether or not to buy a new car, so we want to make sure it’s an experience that makes them feel at ease and valued as a customer, and which also reflects the premium quality of our brand.

“With Test Drive+ we have looked at every aspect from the customer’s point of view to make it as flexible and informative as possible. We want people to enjoy an ideal introduction to our cars, one which is completely designed around them.”

Test Drive+ is available across the UK, initially for the XC40 and then the S60 saloon

According to the terms and conditions, customers must be 25 years or over to use the Test Drive+ service, while drivers over the age of 75 might require proof of their fitness to drive.

Extended test drives are subject to a £500 pre-authorisation charge, but funds will only be taken to cover any payments or charges outlined in the Ts and Cs.

Click here to read more about Volvo’s Test Drive+ service.

Scandi thug: armoured Volvo XC90 released

Armoured Volvo XC90

Volvo has unveiled a new armoured version of its XC90 SUV, designed to meet a growing global market for armoured vehicles. It’s VPAM VR8 rated, which makes it one of the toughest armoured car-based vehicles on the road. Armoured Volvo deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020.

VPAM VR8 – what makes the XC90 Armoured (heavy)

Armoured Volvo XC90

This rating mandates 360-degree ballistic and explosive resistance. To create the armoured XC90, a T6 AWD variant is sent to TRASCO Bremen GmbH in Germany, where high-strength 10mm steel armour is applied. 50mm glass joins it, along with upgraded suspension and brakes.

The suspension and brakes are uprated to deal with an extra 1,400kg. In total, it weighs a hefty 4,490kg.

“The XC90 Armoured (heavy) with VR8 protection rating enables us to offer a car that provides a high level of protection while retaining the car’s fundamental properties,” says Stephan Green, marketing director at Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.

Armoured Volvo XC90

“Production is carried out with extreme diligence, which is imperative in order to fulfil the exceptionally high requirements placed on this class of security product. We strive to ensure that the car retains its properties despite the extensive armouring.

“The armour is fitted discreetly to make the car barely distinguishable from a standard XC90. Every customer also has their own unique requirements, which we satisfy by means of customised production.

“Potential customers include security services who would use the car to transport high-profile individuals.”

Lighter bite: Less hardcore armoured Volvos

Armoured Volvo XC90

If your demands aren’t quite as rigorous, there is the XC90 (or XC60) Armoured (light). These cars are geared more towards protection against handguns.

They’re intended for Latin American and European markets. Overall they weigh just 250kg more than the standard cars, but feature upgraded brakes and suspension.

“We are proud to be able to offer these armoured cars. With our armoured cars, we can provide vehicles with a high level of personal security for individuals who require heightened protection.”

Uber’s self-driving Volvo is ready for action

Volvo and Uber partner on autonomous cars

Uber and Volvo have revealed the result of a collaborative project running since the two companies entered a joint engineering agreement in 2016. The self-driving Uber-branded Volvo XC90 is production-ready and could be sent into action now.

Does the Uber Volvo have a ‘driver’?

It seems redundant to ask whether the newly-announced self-driving Volvo has a driver but no, not exactly. What it does have is a ‘mission specialist’. That’s a specially-trained Uber employee that operates and oversees the car when in use in areas that allow autonomous cars to run.

Is it safe?

Volvo and Uber partner on autonomous cars

Volvo is arguably the best company to approach for an autonomous taxi. As such, a great deal has been made of the numerous backup systems that these vehicles will come with. These are redundancies that will safely run the vehicle, or bring it to a stop, in the event of something like steering, drive or brakes failing, including battery back-up power.

In fact, the XC90 was a chosen base for the project given its excellent arsenal of safety features and an impeccable safety record.

Sensors on top and built into the vehicle run Uber’s self-driving system, allowing it to operate in built-up and busy areas.

Tens of thousands of autonomous Uber Volvos to come

This is the first of a five-figure sum of drive-ready base vehicles to be delivered by Volvo for Uber’s self-driving service over the coming years.

“We believe autonomous-drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

“By the middle of the next decade, we expect one-third of all cars we sell to be fully autonomous. Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies.”

Volvo and Uber partner on autonomous cars

“Working in close cooperation with companies like Volvo is a key ingredient to effectively building a safe, scalable, self-driving fleet,” said Eric Meyhofer, CEO of Uber Advanced Technologies Group.

“Volvo has long been known for its commitment to safety, which is the cornerstone of its newest production-ready self-driving base vehicle. When paired with our self-driving technology, this vehicle will be a key ingredient in Uber’s autonomous product suite.”

Volvo wants to make cars safer for cyclists

Volvo testing helmets for cyclist safety

As part of its vision to ensure that nobody receives more than light bruising on the roads of the world, Volvo is turning its attention to the safety of cyclists.

The carmaker is collaborating with Swedish sports and safety brand POC to conduct a series of crash tests of bike helmets against cars. This groundbreaking research aims to further protect cyclists, it says.

Accidents involving cars and bikes often lead to serious injury or death, which is why Volvo has invested so much in the safety of road users on two wheels. Its cyclist detection system with full auto brake uses cameras and radars to detect cyclists, warning the driver and applying the brakes if necessary.

Bike helmet safety testing in Gothenburg

These new tests will be conducted in Gothenburg, where crash dummies wearing POC bike helmets will be launched at different areas of a Volvo’s bonnet. Different speeds and angles will be used for various measurements.

Current bike helmet testing procedures are “fairly rudimentary”, says Volvo, “involving helmets being dropped from different heights on either a flat or an angled surface, and do not take into account vehicle to bike accidents”.

Previously, Volvo has worked with POC on a pilot to connect cycle helmets with cars in an attempt to avoid accidents.

‘We go beyond ratings’

Volvo XC40 cyclist safety

Malin Ekholm, head of Volvo’s safety centre, said: “We often develop new testing methods for challenging traffic scenarios. Our aim is not only to meet legal requirements or pass rating tests. Instead, we go beyond ratings, using real traffic situations to develop technology that further improves safety.”

Oscar Huss, head of product development at POC, added: “By working closely with scientific leaders in the POC Lab we strive to lead the way in introducing new safety ideas.

“Certification standards are essential, but they should never limit our willingness to look beyond their parameters to find better and more innovative ways to reduce the consequences of accidents.”

It is hoped that the test results will enable POC to design and manufacturer safer cycle helmets while providing Volvo with valuable insight into how car bonnets and bumpers should be designed.

Beyond Skyfall: Bonding with a Volvo S60 in Scotland

Volvo S60 at Skyfall

You could justifiably buy a new Volvo S60 on the strength of its looks alone, and I’d salute you for it. Volvo’s compact saloon is, without question, the best looking car in the segment. Heck, it might be one of the best looking new cars on sale in 2019.

And the chiselled, catwalk styling might be the S60’s strongest attribute, that’s if my first drive in Scotland is anything to go by. Behind those supermodel looks lies a car that’s very easy to like, but surprisingly difficult to love.

A case of style over substance, then? Read on to find out (if you can stop drooling at the pics).

As soon as I was told I’d be flying to Edinburgh to drive the S60, I had one destination on my mind: Glen Etive. It might be as clichéd as turning up at Scottish-themed fancy dress party wearing a kilt and a Rod Stewart wig, but the area in Scotland where 007 and M went ‘back in time’ has become a popular spot for fans of the 2012 film Skyfall.

Hold your breath and count to 10

Volvo S60 in Scotland

I wanted to venture beyond Skyfall; to continue along the road past the point at which the characters played by Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench stood in front of the DB5, staring into the middle distance, presumably feeling the effects of spending 500 miles in a 50-year-old Aston.

They’d have had no such problems in the S60. Volvo doesn’t build uncomfortable cars; the combination of superb seats, minimalist cabins and clever use of lighting means that driving one of its cars is no less relaxing than a foot massage from Enya.

The S60’s biggest problem is familiarity. It’s five years since the Volvo XC90 debuted in Geneva, and while the interior remains a fabulous example of fit, finish and ergonomics, the wow-factor diminishes with every subsequent new car. You kinda know what to expect.

Volvo S60 interior

Not that I was complaining as I made my way out of the airport car park and into the morning commute. The first UK cars are offered in R-Design Edition spec, which means all but the most opulent and lavish equipment is fitted as standard.

The sea of charcoal that swathes the cabin is as bright and cheery as a gentleman’s wash bag, but the gloom is pierced by a metal mesh inlay running across the dashboard. Predictably, the quality is first-rate, but I don’t remember the air vents feeling this flimsy in Volvo’s larger cars. Probably my memory playing tricks on me.

Stirling work

Volvo S60 dashboard

“Don’t drive tired”, proclaimed the matrix display above the M9 motorway, a stark reminder that I’d been up since 3am and crowbarred into a crevice on a red-eye flight from Bristol. I lowered the Volvo’s seat and steering wheel heating, reduced the temperature of the climate control, and changed the sat-nav route setting to ‘scenic’. Time to wake up.

The Sensus nine-inch touchscreen remains a visual treat, but too many commands and settings are hidden away and you’re required to take your eyes off the road for too long in order to change things. Fortunately, I remembered that Volvo’s voice control is one of the best, so I used that throughout the journey.

Try doing that in your DB5, Bond. “Set passenger seat to eject…”

The sat-nav directed me through Stirling, where the S60 seemed to be as eye-catching as the castle sat atop the rugged crag. I caught sight of at least three chaps turning their heads to get a better look, and it’s not hard to see why.

Volvo S60 at Glen Etive

The S60 looks alluring from any angle: as toned as a marathon runner, curvaceous in all the right places and far better resolved than the S90. It takes a lot to upstage the magnificent beauty of Scotland, but the S60 achieves it. It warrants a closer look, too. Note the voluptuous haunches and the wafer-thin panel gaps.

The R-Design treatment certainly helps, with the S60 packing high-gloss black trim, dual integrated exhaust pipes and 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. The good news is that my test car was running on the standard 18s, which proves you don’t have to upgrade to the probable-ride-ruining 19- or 20-inch rims to achieve maximum glamour.

So far, so good, then. If cars were judged on the strength of their styling and cabin, Volvo would be off to Ikea in search of another trophy cabinet for another ‘winner takes all’ victory. Other Swedish clichés are available.

Feel the earth move?

Volvo S60 T5 R-Design Edition

But it’s at this point that the S60 starts to lose some of its lustre. There’s enough here for a terrific first date, but a lasting relationship might be off the cards.

Power is sourced from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder T5 engine producing 250hp and 258lb ft of torque, which sounds great on paper, but is more ‘meh’ in reality. The engine is totally devoid of character, and although the peak power appears at 5,500pm, the engine sounds strained when you reach the upper reaches of the rev counter – there’s no reward for pushing the S60 hard.

It’s strange, because the engine is far from slow. The 0-62mph time is a not-too-shabby 6.5 seconds, and because the torque is available from 1,800 to 4,800rpm, the S60 makes light work of slow-moving camper vans, mobile libraries and coaches. Yes, I’m speaking from experience here.

Volvo S60 first UK drive

Yet it never feels exciting, even in Dynamic mode, when the throttle is at its most responsive and the entire car feels tauter and more focused. It doesn’t help that the eight-speed transmission appears to prefer a slow dance to a waltz, with even the paddles seemingly unable to inject a dose of excitement.

This might be a touch unfair: Volvo isn’t pitching the S60 as a performance saloon, but when the roads are as good as this, it should be possible to have fun.

Accelerate hard and there’s a touch of torque steer, with the front end feeling detached from the asphalt beneath the wheels. This ‘floating’ sensation is joined by steering that is short on feel and too light in anything other than Dynamic mode. It’s not unpleasant to drive, but it’s far from engaging.

This might not matter in the U.S., where the S60 is built at Volvo’s new plant in South Carolina, because corners haven’t been invented there. But if you’re touring Scotland and fancy some excitement to go with the stunning scenery, look elsewhere.

At Skyfall

Volvo S60 T5 at Skyfall

Just before noon, I was parked at the precise spot where Craig and Dench stared into the Scottish mist. It’s easy to find – just look for the ‘layby’ created by seven years of location-hunting film fans. This must be the only layby in the world created indirectly by a Dame and a 007. There’s another worn-out patch of Scotland on the other side of the road, created by folk turning around and heading back to the A82.

But I wasn’t going back. Instead, I continued beyond the famous spot, taking the single track Glen Etive Road to its conclusion. For the benefit of any doubt, Bond didn’t continue along this road – it’s a dead-end – and Skyfall Lodge was built on Hankley Common, Surrey. But you probably knew that already.

It’s just as well Bond didn’t take the Aston too much further. In places, the road resembles Belgian pavé, which would have shaken and stirred the DB5 to bits long before Javier Bardem’s helicopter loomed into view.

Volvo S60 at Loch Etive

The Comfort setting is advised if you value your spine – I dread to think what the S60 would be like on 20-inch rims. On 18s, the ride is a little on the firm side, if far from uncomfortable, but given the S60’s lack of precision, I’d have preferred it to be a little softer.

The 12-mile road follows the path of the River Etive, taking in open moorland, forests and small Scottish homesteads as it makes it way through the mountainous landscape.

The further you travel, the more you feel like you’re driving into the unknown, although the feeling of isolation is punctured by the endless stream of black Vauxhall Corsa hire cars. Still, it makes a change from the endless stream of yellow Arnold Clark stickers you see away from the tourist routes in Scotland.

Hear my heart burst again

Volvo S60 headlight

An hour or so later, not only was the weather on the turn, but the clock was ticking ever closer to my departure from Edinburgh Airport. Bond had a date with Raoul Silva – and M had a date with death – but I had little more than an Easyjet booking to look forward to.

The return leg was a frustrating mix of poor weather, coaches, roadworks and intermittent digital radio signal. I tried one last time to extract some enjoyment from the S60, but I reached the conclusion that it’s a little like fast food: quick, but lacking in substance.

A more pertinent issue would be to work out where the new S60 sits in the UK market. Will the styling, cabin and safety credentials be enough to counter the less-than-sparkling performance and the rather limited choice of engines and trim levels? A T8 plug-in hybrid, Polestar Engineered version and Inscription trim will be added in the future.

As I said at the beginning, you could buy a Volvo S60 on the strength of its looks and live happily ever after knowing that your car looks a million dollars. And you will enjoy some exclusivity – Volvo says it will “achieve higher sales than the outgoing S60”.

Volvo sold 960 previous-generation S60s last year, so the company is not expecting huge numbers from its compact exec. Standing out from the me-too German cars is almost guaranteed in an S60.

We will stand tall

Not Daniel Craig at Skyfall

Part of me doesn’t want to reach a conclusion, and not just because I’m forever being distracted by the library of S60 images on my desktop.

Please don’t get me wrong: there is so much to love about the S60. The seats in the R-Design are fabulous, the cabin is a delight and it’s probably safer than covering yourself in bubble wrap and never leaving the house.

So, like Bond, I’m going to stare into the middle distance and contemplate a more decisive future for the S60. As a trailer for the main feature, the T5 R-Design Edition is a competent teaser. Here’s hoping the Polestar version is more of a thriller, leaving the Inscription to feel as cosetting and cosy as watching a black and white movie in front of the fire on a wet Sunday afternoon.

Not much of a conclusion, is it? But what were you expecting, an exploding pen?

Volvo V60 T5 R-Design Edition

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
Power: 250hp @ 5,500rpm
Torque: 258lb ft @ 1,800 – 4,800rpm
WLTP fuel economy: 35.3-39.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 152g/km
Price: £37,935
Price as tested: £39,160

New Volvos warn each other of bad weather

Connected clouds: new Volvo cars to warn each other of bad weather

New Volvos warn each other of bad weatherStarting from next week, all new Volvo cars sold across Europe will be able to warn others of poor weather conditions, or possible hazards on the road.

Sharing data in real-time, Volvo cars fitted with Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert will communicate directly with each other about dangers.

Volvo hopes that the warnings will contribute to safer driving, and is just the latest in a series of announcements from the company, aimed at improving road safety.

New Volvos warn each other of bad weatherThe industry-first technology was initially offered in Sweden and Norway in 2016, being fitted to Volvo’s 90 series of cars in the two countries.

Somewhat fittingly the system uses cloud-based communications, enabling information to be passed between Volvo cars, and also trucks, instantaneously.

Hazard Light Alert detects when the hazard warning lights have been activated, sending a notification to all other connected Volvos in the locale. The aim is to pre-warn drivers of potentially dangerous situations, which otherwise may be hidden from view.

Slippery Road Alert analyses anonymous information from cars connected to the cloud, noticing patterns and trends in road surface conditions. This is then shared with cars farther away on the same road, warning them in advance of what to expect.

New Volvos warn each other of bad weatherAlong with being offered on new Volvo cars, the company can also retrofit the service to older models. All 2016 model year cars onwards, excluding the V40, should be eligible to receive the upgrade.

The news comes after Volvo’s groundbreaking announcement, that it will be making all its accumulated safety knowledge available to the rest of the automotive industry.

Volvo has also stated it will fit 112mph speed limiters to all cars sold 2020, and is also investigating the use of interior cameras to detect impaired drivers.

Volvo open-sources 60 years of safety research

Volvo safety research

It’s been a busy month for Volvo. Having announced that it will be installing in-car cameras and sensors to monitor drivers, the company also said it would be sharing 60 years of safety knowledge. Because sharing is caring.

The announcement was made on the 60th anniversary of the three-point safety belt – one of Volvo’s gifts to the automotive world – which it says has saved more than a million lives globally.

In launching Project E.V.A. – that’s ‘Equal Vehicles for All’ – Volvo says it intends to share 60 years of safety research to make motoring safer for everyone.

“We have data on tens of thousands of real-life accidents, to help ensure our cars are as safe as they can be for what happens in real traffic,” said Lotta Jakobsson, professor and senior technical specialist at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

“This means our cars are developed with the aim to protect all people, regardless of gender, height, shape or weight, beyond the ‘average person’ represented by crash test dummies.”

Volvo Project EVA

Volvo’s accident research team has been collecting data since the 1970s to better understand what happens during a collision. The team has gathered and analysed data from more than 40,000 cars and 70,000 passengers, which has led to the development of many of the safety systems we take for granted.

For example, Volvo discovered that women are at higher risk of whiplash than men. This influenced the design of Volvo’s Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which combines a robust head restraint with a clever seat design to protect the head and spine. Crucially, there’s no longer a difference in whiplash risk between men and women.

Volvo even developed the world’s first average-sized pregnant crash test dummy to study how the occupant moves and how the safety belt and airbag affect the woman and foetus. Safety isn’t sexy, but you could lose a couple of hours discovering how much Volvo has done to improve road safety.

As Volvo’s co-founder Gustaf Larson once said: “Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo therefore is, and must remain, safety,”

Future Volvos will be watching – to keep you safe

Volvo cameras and sensors

In 1984, American singer Rockwell sang about how he felt like somebody was watching him. “Tell me is it just a dream?” he asked. Well, Kennedy William Gordy, aka Rockwell, thanks to news from Volvo, we can reveal that it was far from a dream. Volvo will be watching you. Bang goes your privacy.

As part of its ambitions to end fatalities in its cars, Volvo is addressing the issues of intoxication and distraction. By installing in-car cameras and sensors that monitor the driver, the company believes it can intervene if there’s a risk of an accident leading to serious injury or death.

Volvo points to figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showing that almost 30 percent of traffic fatalities in vehicles in 2017 involved intoxicated drivers.

If the system detects a problem – maybe through a lack of steering input, weaving across lanes or eyes off the road – it could limit the car’s speed, alert the Volvo On Call assistance service or, as a last resort, bring the car to a stop.

Avoiding accidents altogether 

“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” says Henrik Green, senior vice president, research and development at Volvo Cars. “In this case, cameras will monitor for behaviour that may lead to serious injury or death.”

Volvo tackles intoxication

The introduction of the cameras will start on the next generation of Volvo’s scalable SPA2 vehicle platform in the early 2020s, with details of the cameras and their positioning to follow at a later stage.

This news comes a couple of weeks after Volvo’s announcement that future cars will be limited to 112mph as part of its Vision 2020 initiative. Speeding, intoxication and distraction are Volvo’s primary areas of concern for traffic safety.

“There are many accidents that occur as a result of intoxicated drivers,” says Trent Victor, professor of driver behaviour at Volvo Cars. “Some people still believe that they can drive after having had a drink, and that this will not affect their capabilities. We want to ensure that people are not put in danger as a result of intoxication.”