Car News

Volvo Teaches Its Trucks And Cars To Communicate

Volvo's truck division has launched a vehicle-to-vehicle communication service that allows its rigs to warn Volvo's car drivers of road hazards.

The cloud-based system called Connected Safety, which Volvo Trucks has just added to its vehicle lineup, has been part of Volvo Cars' suite of safety tech in Sweden and Norway since 2016; for now, its availability in the Swedish brand's trucks will be limited to those markets as well.

The system works the same whether you're behind the wheel of an XC60 crossover or a transport rig: any time you activate the hazard lights, your vehicle will broadcast an alert to all other Connected Safety-equipped Volvos in the same geographical area.

Volvo says Connected Safety uses the driver's mobile phone (presuming it's connected to the car or truck via Bluetooth, for example) to ping one of Volvo's cloud-based networks. While the car and truck divisions each have their own dedicated networks, they forward these alert messages to each other so that every driver of a late model Volvo -- car or truck -- who might drive by can avoid colliding with your stopped vehicle, especially in low-visibility conditions.

While that sounds like a pretty narrow scope of vehicles, Volvo says that its trucks and cars "account for a significant proportion" of new cars sold in Sweden and Norway. According to Statistics Sweden, Volvo has been the most common car make in that country for the past decade, and nearly half of the top-ten best-selling cars and crossovers in Sweden in recent years were Volvos.

“With Connected Safety we are opening the door to the future, with the hope that more vehicle manufacturers will join in,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks. "Expanded cooperation between different players is one of the most important keys to improved road safety. If more vehicles are able to exchange real-time information about the traffic situation, it will lower the risk of collisions."

In North America, Cadillac was the first to bring vehicle-to-vehicle communication tech to the mass market in the CTS sedan in 2017; we've reached out to Volvo to find out when they plan to bring Connected Safety to North America, and we'll update this article when we get an answer.