Volvo Brakes It Down

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Press events are such highly-managed affairs, that it’s rare to see something go wrong at one. But that’s exactly what happened at this Volvo demonstration of a collision avoidance system onboard a new S60 sedan. And as much fun as it is to see a car that’s supposed to be (nearly) uncrashable getting crumpled up on a stationary object, perhaps the most delightfully schadenfreude-soaked moment in this video is watching Volvo’s hapless PR rep tap dancing in embarrassment while explaining that this was not, in fact, a proper demonstration of Volvo’s collision-avoidance system. Moments like these are rare… savor them.

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  • Libertyman03 Libertyman03 on Jul 19, 2010

    Car accidents aren't funny by any means, as my mother and sister found out a few years ago when a man driving a Dodge Ram happened to not notice the bright blue Dodge Caravan stopped in front of him. And a Caravan is no Volvo S60. My mom and sis were okay (except for that dreaded whiplash), but the van wasn't. This tech would be a great addition to any car, as long as it works. This video, on the other hand, made me laugh BOTH times I watched it. It's just so funny because you fully expect the car to start braking and stop safely behind that trailer, and then it just, doesn't. Hilarious.

  • Davekaybsc Davekaybsc on Jul 19, 2010

    Interesting that it failed outdoors. The Mercedes system famously didn't work because it wasn't even turned on (it was an indoor test and the system doesn't work indoors), the driver was supposed to run over something and then hit the brakes to "simulate" what would happen if the system was on.

  • Stewart Dean Stewart Dean on Jul 19, 2010

    Ah, but if you pay close attention to the video, you'll notice that there is one piece of high-tech that *is* working: the auto-on windshield wipers. The car emerges with the hanger with the wipers off, hits the immovable object, the radiator bites the big one and the ensuing cloud of steam sets off the auto-on windshield wipers. Good Volvo, Good, good Volvo. Now roll over and play dead and wiggle your tires in the air. Though I guess....there's the famous geek putdown of "You fail the Turing Test", so I guess if people can zone out and run into a parked car, why then it's only fair to have the car zone out.......

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jul 19, 2010

    This PR guy needs to go back to school. The first thing out of his mouth could have been: 1) "and ladies and gentlemen, you see how the S60 safely avoided these concrete barriers right here, and that horrendous embankment over there, as well as demonstrating how safe it is in a collision; thank you for your time have a nice day." Exit, stage left. 2) "We didn't like that one anyway." 3) "Okay folks, what'll you bid for a slightly used S60?" 4) "And that concludes our test of the Swedish Navy's new catapult system. Any questions?"