State-of-the-art safety systems will underpin the new EX90, Volvo said. Fitted as standard and previewing what will be available for other future Volvos, the tech includes a “protective shield” both outside and inside the car, using radar and cameras to assist the driver when they’re either distracted, tired, or go to make a manoeuvre “just a millisecond too late.” 

This includes a lidar system that maps out the environment around the car and can act when the driver doesn’t, taking steps such as reducing the car’s speed and steering slightly to avoid obstacles or hazards. Coupled with cameras that keep an eye on the driver’s attention levels and well-being, these new features can reduce the risk of death or serious injury by up to 20%, Volvo claims.

“Someone always needs to be watching the road, and we know it’s not going to be you [the driver] part of the time,” said Mikael Ljung Aust, Volvo’s behavioural safety expert.

“We know that’s natural, and we don’t want to force people to be anyone else, so we’ve decided to combat distraction or inattention [by allowing] the car to look at the road at all times [and take control when needed].”

The car’s computers also get to know the driver, Ljung Aust told Autocar, learning how they drive so the system can “know when your attention is elsewhere”. Emma Tivesten, Volvo’s senior safety research leader, confirmed these features can be turned off by the driver, but has warned against this.

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