Volvo EX90 Electric SUV Will Watch You As You Drive And May Even Take Control

Automatic safety features like emergency braking and lane detection systems have been around for a few years now, and many vehicles are equipped with these features as standard. The features use sensors and algorithms to prevent the car from crashing. 

Today, Volvo announced that it's made huge strides in making cars much safer by looking not only at the road, but also at the driver behind the wheel. The upcoming Volvo EX90 electric SUV will be the first production vehicle featuring what the brand is calling its "driver understanding system." Volvo claims the system will make the EX90 one of the safest cars on the market when it's revealed on November 9th. 

Volvo says the driver understanding system will act as an ever-vigilant copilot of sorts and do its best to prevent any harm from befalling its driver or the vehicle itself. While not an outright artificial intelligence driving you around like Iron-Man's JARVIS or Master Chief's Cortana from the world of fiction, Volvo claims its system can "understand" the driver over time. 

A car that understands the driver

Through a complex series of sensors, algorithms, and a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) system, Volvo's new EX90 will be able to scope out the world around it for any potential dangers. If the driver doesn't react in time, the system will then intervene and stop the car or steer it out of harm's way. Volvo's driver understanding system also puts sensors in the cockpit facing the driver to prevent any kind of user error while driving. 

Through a press release, Volvo claims the system will be able to monitor a driver's eyes using two cameras and the driver's grasp of the steering wheel using capacitive sensors. Using that data, the car's computer algorithms can then determine if the driver is sleepy, emotionally distraught, or otherwise too impaired to drive. If the car detects the driver is unable to safely drive, it may even pull over to the side of the road.

Volvo says this feature will be standard on all EX90 models.