2015 Volvo XC90. Photo courtesy of Volvo

2015 Volvo XC90. Photo courtesy of Volvo

It is not clear why anyone would try this, but the writer of an article appearing on Yahoo! Tech tried to veer a 2015 Volvo XC90 into the opposite lane of traffic, as a test. In an article titled “The Volvo XC90 Would Not Let Me Die,” Christina Tynan-Wood writes that she had to try three times to “swerve like a drunkard” into the oncoming traffic lane.

She made the attempts while driving on a freeway in Spain, she writes, and the first two times the car’s steering wheel emitted a rumble to warn her against the action. On her third try, she writes that she was able to ignore the vehicle’s strong warnings and head directly across the median. “There were no oncoming cars, so death wasn’t on the menu,” she writes.

But that was only after having to battle with the Volvo’s technology, as its steering “pushed back,” directing the car back into its lane. Tynan-Wood writes that because she insisted, she was able to go into the opposite traffic lane, but that the car would not let her do so by accident.

Before going on to detail the XC90’s various safety features — which are steps towards Volvo’s goal of preventing anyone from being killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020 — Tynan-Wood writes, “I was not going to die because of stupidity, drunkenness, or failure to pay attention. Not on this car’s watch.”

In a related article for Edmunds.com, Mark Takahashi writes that the 2016 Volvo XC90 is “finally getting a full redesign.” He took it for a test drive, also in Spain, and writes that it exceeds other three-row SUVs with its “fanatical focus on safety” as well as its cutting-edge technology and distinctive design.

Takahashi writes that the 2016 XC90’s safety features include autonomous braking with day or night pedestrian and cyclist detection, seatbelt pre-tensioners, collapsible seat mounts to reduce vertical impacts, lane departure warnings, and emergency and convenience telematics. There are additional optional safety features, including rear collision alerts that flash the brake lights, blind-spot warnings, cross-traffic alerts, a surround-view camera system, lane-keeping assist, and automated parking — both parallel and perpendicular, Takahashi writes.

This blog reported last week about Volvo’s plans to launch a first-of-its-kind program to test self-driving cars on roads with regular people (not professional test drivers). The test will take place in 2017, and will involve 100 regular folks. It will be using the XC90 model. Volvo’s Research and Development Chief Peter Mertens, said: “Taking the exciting step to a public pilot, with the ambition to enable ordinary people to sit behind the wheel in normal traffic on public roads, has never been done before.”

Embed this infographic:
Embed this image: