The recently-unveiled Volvo XC60 employs Continental's sensor system The XC60 from Volvo is a new arrival and marks Volvo's continued pres-ence in the SUV domain. A softroader that blends muscularity with the sporty charisma of a coupe, the XC60 is actually a crossover with bold styling and a variety of intelligent safety systems. The XC60 employs Continental sensor system, which monitors the road ahead of the vehicle and is networked with the braking system. It automatically applies the brakes if there is a risk of a rear-end collision and the driver either fails to react or if his reactions are too slow.
Continental has developed and supplied both the infrared sensor, which monitors the road ahead and detects objects, and the electronic braking system, both of which are core components of VolvoÃ‚Â´s innovative "City Safety" concept. According to Continental sources, the risk of rear-end collisions is particularly great in city traffic with its constant alternation between braking and accelerating. The sensor system, developed keeping in mind that 75 per cent of acciclents occur at speeds below 30 kph and around, the Closing Velocity (CV) sensor reduces the risk of a rear-end collision. Fitted level with the inside mirror in the area cleaned by the windshield wiper, the sensor uses three infrared beams to probe the road up to some six meters in front of the vehicle. The sensor picks up vehicles which are stationary or traveling in the same direction. If the gap is less than the distance which must be regarded as critical at the current speed, the system causes the brakes to be applied automatically.
If the maximum speed differential between the vehicles was 15 kph, a rear-end collision would be avoided in most cases. And, at greater relative speeds, the severity of the impact would be considerably mitigated. At the same time, the City Safety system optimizes occupant protection by providing additional data to the airbag control unit and triggering the restraint systems as required. "This system will prevent numerous accidents and injuries. It is one of the important modules in our comprehensive ContiGuard safety system which is bringing us one step closer to Vision Zero, our vision of road transport without accidents, without serious injuries and without fatalities", says Dr Ralf Cramer, president of the Chassis & Safety division, Continental.
Even if the braking system does not intervene automatically, Continental's CV sensor system can assist the XC60 driver. If he realizes that a rear-end collision is imminent and applies the brakes, the MK25 E1 will already have built up pressure as a precaution. The brake assist system will respond earlier, depending on how risky the situation is, shortening the stopping distance more effectively than would be possible without the CV sensor's warning.
In addition to this interface to the environmental sensors, the braking system also has a trailer stabilization function which detects if a trailer is beginning to "fishtail" and stabilizes the car-trailer combination by brake application to individual wheels (Trailer Stability Assist, TSA). A further driving safety feature is the roll-over protection function. In addition to the usual ESC sensors, the Volvo XC60's braking system has sensor which records the vehicle body's rolling motion. If all the data it collects indicates that the vehicle is seriously at risk of overturning, the brakes are specifically applied to individual wheels. This roll sensor is built into the ESC cluster which, like the active wheel speed sensors, the brake actuation unit and the new two-piston, front axle, 2FN44 wheel brakes, is also supplied by Continental's Chassis & Safety Division.
Continental also supplies the vehicle's tyre pressure monitoring system, ContiCrossContact UHP 235/65 R17 V and 235/60 R 18 tyres and the electronic control unit for the intelligent all-wheel drive. The latter ensures the optimum distribution of torque between the front and rear axles according to the driving situation.
Security and comfort benefit in equal measure from the optional keyless Personal Car Communicator (PCC) access authorization system. Continental produces several main components of the radio-controlled system of the Volvo XC60, from the key to the transceiver built into the vehicle. At the touch of a button, an XC60 driver can check whether his car is actually locked from a distance of up to 100 meters. Continental has been working with Volvo for years and produces main components of the radio-controlled system for the current S80, V70 and XC70.