The upcoming 2010 Volvo S60 will be equipped with a system to detect the position, direction of travel and velocity of pedestrians and cyclists, then automatically brake to avoid colliding with them.
While over-protective parents and everything-is-someone-else's-fault Nazis will see a clear benefit in a car that removes a driver's ability to run over their spoiled, playing-in-the-street children, we're a bit more skeptical of the need for this technology. Surely the only 100% effective method of eliminating car/pedestrian interfaces is to separate roads from pedestrian areas. We'd much rather see more pedestrianized streets in city centers and barriers between sidewalks and streets than we would expensive, prone-to-failure technology. Like other safety aids-antilock brakes springs to mind as a good example-we can see drivers learning to rely on the Pedestrian Detection system over their own judgement and skill, then failing to pay attention at crucial moments. [via Facebook.com/Volvo]