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Volvo Proposes Active Safety System Designed To Prevent Unintended Lane Departure During SAE 2003 World Congress

Troy, MI,, Feb. 17, 2003 - What do cell phones, small children, lack of sleep and daydreaming have in common? They all are things that distract drivers from their main objective: to arrive safely at one's destination. Many accidents are caused by drivers' lack of attention to the road ahead. Before they realize it, they have left their intended lane and can't regain control of their vehicle.

Volvo Car Corporation will unveil an active safety system to prevent unintended lane departures during the SAE 2003 World Congress, March 3 - 6, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan, USA. The Volvo Lane Departure Module consists of a camera with image processing software that detects current lane position. The camera measures distances from the camera centerline to the left and right lane markings.

If a driver mismanages steering control, the torque of the steering wheel is designed to guide the driver back to the appropriate steering wheel angle required to come back in the lane. "Results from test drives indicate that, despite its simplicity, the system is fully sufficient for helping drivers stay in the lane without being perceived as a autopilot," says Jochen Pohl, Volvo Car Corporation and an author of the SAE technical paper.

A common existing approach to mediating lane departure today is the use of "rumble strips" - grooved pavement markings that alert the driver by causing a loud noise and vibration when the vehicle leaves its lane. Rumble strips only warn the driver after he has departed the lane. In many situations, this kind of warning comes too late, and the driver is not able to recover vehicle control.

The Volvo system is designed to give the driver time to regain control of the vehicle before an accident occurs. Development of a Haptic Intervention System for Unintended Lane Departure (SAE paper 2003-01-0282), will take place at 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 3, Room D2-15.

New to the SAE 2003 World Congress: DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors will hold corporate engineering meetings at Cobo followed by VIP tours of the SAE 2003 exhibit floor; a Technology Theater on the exhibit floor, home to executive panel discussions throughout the week; and a re-categorized technical session program.

SAE World Congress, the world's largest showcase of automotive engineering technologies, attracts attendees from more than 40 countries. This year's host company is DaimlerChrysler.

To attend, visit or call 1-877-SAE-CONG (723-2664); outside the U.S. and Canada, call 1-724-772-4027.