Volvo has announced plans to install in-car cameras that can intervene if an intoxicated or distracted driver does not respond to warning signals.
Announced on 20 March, Volvo says the move is the next step in its ambitions to address two primary areas of concern (impairment and distraction) when it comes to driver safety.
The intervention could involve limiting the car’s speed, alerting the Volvo On Call assistance service and, as a final course of action, actively slowing down and safely parking the car.
The cameras will be introduced on all Volvo models in the early 2020s. Details including the number of cameras and where they will be positioned in the interior will follow at a later stage.
Volvo hopes the announcement will spark debate about whether car makers have the right, or even an obligation, to install technology that changes driver behaviour.
Henrik Green, senior vice president, research and development, Volvo Cars, said: “When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable.
“In this case, cameras will monitor for behaviour that may lead to serious injury or death.”
Trent Victor, professor of driver behaviour at Volvo Cars, said: “There are many accidents that occur as a result of intoxicated drivers.
“Some people still believe that they can drive after having had a drink, and that this will not affect their capabilities. We want to ensure that people are not put in danger as a result of intoxication.”