CHICAGO -- Having long ago made a name for itself in vehicle safety, Volvo is turning its attention to protecting animals.
Or more correctly, protecting animals and drivers from each other.
The automaker is working on a new-generation safety system that detects animals --ranging from Swedish moose to family pets -- in the road.
“It’s active safety,” Volvo Cars of North America CEO John Maloney said today, speaking on the sidelines of the Chicago Auto Show.
“There are plenty of ways that people get into accidents. They hit objects. At the last moment, if they don’t see something, they’ll try to swerve when it’s too late. That will damage the car. And if it’s a pet, people don’t want their pets killed.”
Maloney declined to say when the animal system will begin appearing on Volvo vehicles, other than saying “it’s a couple of years out.”
“It’s a radar and camera-based system that’s looking for images in front of the car,” Maloney said. “If you’re not doing anything, it will intervene and either slow the car, depending on how close it is, or completely stop the car if it has enough time.”
He said pricing for the system is not yet available.