The windshield-mounted sensors of Volvo's City Safety system.Enlarge Photo
If you fly Virgin Atlantic Airway’s Upper Class from the U.K., the chauffeur-driven car dispatched to bring you to the airport will come from car service Tristar Worldwide. Tristar provides airport transportation for Virgin’s highest-profile customers (among other clients), so reducing in-transit accidents is critical to its business.
Beginning in September of 2011, Tristar began testing Volvo
models equipped with the automaker’s City Safety technology
, which uses windshield-mounted lasers to track the distance to the vehicle in front. At speeds of up to 19 mph, the system can deploy the brakes to prevent an accident if the driver is distracted.
In just six months of testing, Tristar has seen a reduction in at-fault rear impact accidents of some 28-percent, resulting in both cost savings and increased driver and passenger safety. Uptime is increased as well, and the key to maximizing profit as a car service is keeping as many vehicles on the road as possible.
Volvo’s City Safety system isn’t the only beneficial technology, either. The automaker’s Blind Spot Information System
(BLIS) is helping reduce collisions caused by lane-changing, which currently account for nearly 13-percent of Tristar’s accidents. The car service has yet to quantify the reduction in these accidents, but it’s clear that BLIS is helping.
Dean De Beer, Tristar’s Group CEO, admits to being “incredibly impressed” with the reduction in accidents achieved via Volvo’s City Safety system
, and it believes that further reductions in rear-impact accidents are possible. The company plans to roll out the system on more vehicles, which is good news for Volvo and Tristar’s passengers alike.