Volvo’s Polestar 2 tops safety test, will feature new autopilot system
Volvo’s Polestar 2 has passed a key safety test with top marks. The company issued a press release showing the company's first fully electric vehicle with Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) being crash tested.
The all-electric vehicle will also be the first to use Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology, an autopilot that will also be launched in other Volvo products. The system provides assistance with acceleration, braking and steering up to a speed of 130 kmph.
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Like other models from different carmakers, the Polestar 2 houses its large battery pack in the form of a small platform housed in the floor, fully recessed and isolated. This necessarily makes maintenance more complex when changing batteries, but the safety advantage is great. In the event of an impact, the batteries are better protected, and we know how quickly these lithium elements tend to catch fire when in contact with air.
Inside, too, the Polestar 2 treats its occupants in the event of an impact. The car will be fitted as standard, on all markets, with a curtain airbag between the two front occupants, in particular to avoid driver and passenger side collisions. Add to that the door airbag and the steering wheel airbag, and the driver is in a cocoon in the event of an accident.
Object detection systems at the front, rear and blind spots of the car will be coupled with steering assistance and autonomous emergency braking. At low speeds, Polestar 2 will use yet another system, the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) with a series of speakers that inform pedestrians and other cars that the vehicle is in motion - a problem when you think about the quiet engines of electric cars.
"We deliberately did not want Polestar 2 to sound like a robot or spaceship," explains Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "We wanted subtle and natural sounds that simply inform pedestrians that the car is moving. At the same time, we wanted Polestar 2 to sound unique," he adds.
Protecting the battery in the event of a collision is crucial in electric vehicles. In a frontal collision, it can be launched from the car and become lethal if it hits someone on the way. The Polestar 2 battery will be housed in a rigid aluminium enclosure in the vehicle's floor structure. The company says this design reduces the risk of damage, hardens the car's chassis and keeps the battery intact in the event of a collision.
If an accident is detected, the battery will be automatically disconnected from the rest of the car, which should help to avoid electrical hazards. In the absence of a combustion engine, a frontal protection system that protects the occupants of the car and the battery from more direct frontal impacts, for example, with a pole.