The pride of Volvo was unveiled last Wednesday evening in Santa Monica. The XC-60, a crossover vehicle equipped with an all new, state of the art, City-Safe feature was put to the test by Volvo owners, each standing eagerly in line awaiting a chance to drive the first car in America that actually stops itself.
As the violins were playing and the smell of excitement was in the air, I made my way up the red carpet towards the masses of balloons and patrons eagerly awaiting the arrival of the future. I admired the collection of open faced sandwiches, hors d’oevres, and swan shaped fruit platters that circled the room. The center of the room was a masterpiece of three-piece-suites, fancy dresses and….Volvo owners? Suddenly I realized I was not at the entrance to a Hollywood movie premier, nor had I just arrived at a post Grammy production. I was just in time to see the first car that actually prevents accidents!
Maybe you spilled a bit of coffee on the way to work this morning and looked away for one split second? Perhaps your favorite song came on and you wanted to turn the volume up? Was the next sound you heard the crunching of your bumper into the unsuspecting car in front of you? It probably was, and Volvo heard the tires screeching. It makes perfect sense that a car that avoids 75% of fender-benders would be unveiled merely a few minutes from the Wilshire and Westwood intersection, formerly one of the top five most traveled intersections in the world. The car has a sleek, newer look, and a more rounded body style, abandoning the blueprint of boxy Volvos of the past. Don Marino, General Manager of Volvo of Santa Monica, was extremely excited to be releasing a car with so many safety benefits.
“By redesigning the idea of keeping safety at the core, Volvo has released a car that is smart, classy, sporty, and versatile, but most importantly, the safest vehicle on the road. This car actually compensates for driver error, and helps avoid accidents,” said Marino
The City-Safe feature is the first of it’s kind, offering laser guidance systems that actually deter and detect accidents before they happen. When designing this safety system, Volvo kept in mind that over 75% of accidents occur at speeds of less than 20 MPH. The Invisible laser, mounted behind the vehicles rear view mirror, detects an imminent collision and automatically applies the break at speeds of less than 19 MPH. The vehicle will come to a complete, un-assisted stop if it is traveling from two-nine MPH and the driver does not apply the brake. If traveling from 10-19 MPH, the breaks will depress at 75%, giving the driver a much higher chance to regain control and stop the car before the collision. Because this feature detects and helps prevent so many costly accidents, Volvo is actually working with insurance companies to help their drivers receive better rates. In addition to being at the forefront of safety, this crossover SUV boasts another feature to help keep costs of operation down.This new car runs happily and efficiently on minimum octane fuel, meaning no more paying for 91 at the pump. It also gets above average mileage for its class. I have never been one to actually agree with a car-salesman, but after test driving this vehicle, having flashbacks of the rear end accident that ruined my first car, and watching it stop on its own, I had only one question left, where do I sign on the dotted line?