Valerina Changarathil, 05 November 2015

SPORTING world-first technologies like auto braking and run-off road protection, the Volvo XC90 will be the safest car on the road in South Australia on Saturday.

Managing director Kevin McCann today unveiled the star of the driverless car trial on the Southern Expressway between 6am and 1pm, which will be live-streamed by Telstra at

It’s part of the Chinese-owned Swedish company’s promise to its global consumers “that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020”.

In a run-off road scenario, the car sensors detect the situation and tighten the front safety belts to keep the occupants in position.

To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain.

The automatic braking kicks in if the driver is about to collide with vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car.

Last week Volvo announced an Australian trial to refine this technology to include kangaroos — a common cause of collision in this part of the world.

Complete with all the sensors needed for complete autonomous driving, Volvo has secured special permission from the State Government to unlock these features for the SA trial.

Volvo Australia managing director Kevin McCann, in Adelaide for the trial, said autonomous technology is alreaday available in cars today and it was a matter for legislation to catch up.

Victorian road transport group ARRB is co-ordinating the event, which will demonstrate autonomous overtaking, changing lanes, emergency braking and use of on and off ramps.

ARRB managing director Gerard Waldron said SA was ahead of the local pack on the trials.

“It has an advantage, which could see the state playing a role in a national centre to be set up next year by the ARRB.”

Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan has already introduced a bill to Parliament on legislation to enable real-life road trials, but there is no timeline on when it will be passed.

“By making South Australia an attractive destination of global firms to test, develop and trial their technology on Australian roads, we are telling the world that SA is open for business.”

Extracted in full from The Advertiser.