A new interior radar system from Volvo has been designed to ensure no occupant gets left behind, resulting in illness or worse if the inside temperature is too hot for example. The radar – which covers the entire cabin and the trunk – is so sensitive and accurate that it can detect tiny, sub-millimeter scale movements, such as those of a sleeping child.
Since 1998 more than 900 children have died in the USA after being left in hot cars, a problem which the OEM wants to ensure never happens again. The system will feature as standard on the OEM’s upcoming Volvo EX90 all-electric SUV and will subsequently be included in all other forthcoming Volvo passenger-car models.
The smart solution works by using sensors integrated into the overhead console, roof-mounted reading lamps and the vehicles trunk. Upon trying to lock the car, the interior radar system will be activated and scan for people or pets which are left in the vehicle before allowing it to be locked. If a living entity is detected, the vehicle will not lock and will display a reminder to check for interior occupants on the center console screen.
For improved comfort and to lower the risk of hypothermia or heatstroke, the climate control system can stay on if occupants are detected.
“No one chooses to be distracted or tired, but we know it can happen,” said Lotta Jakobsson, senior technical specialist in injury prevention, Volvo. “We’re all human and distraction is a fact of life. With the help of cutting-edge technology, we’ll support you when you’re not at your best and help you avoid leaving family members or pets behind by accident.”
“We’ve always been a leader in safety, and we want to continue protecting lives by setting new standards in automotive safety,” added Jakobsson. “That also means making you feel safe and giving you peace of mind. That type of emotional safety will help you enjoy life to the fullest, while at the same time helping you to prevent tragedies from happening.”