Volvo Car Corp of Sweden announced that it would release the “XC60” SUV in Japan in August 2009. The vehicle features the “City Safety” system, which automatically activates the brakes to avoid crashes when driving at low speeds.
It will be the first time that a function to avoid low-speed crashes is commercialized in Japan. Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has been taking a cautious stance on the introduction of the City Safety system, saying, “Drivers might overly rely on such a system.”
The technical guideline prepared by MLIT approves the use of an emergency brake 1.4 seconds before a crash. According to the guide, automakers are allowed to design vehicles so that an emergency brake is automatically activated to stop the vehicle and avoid a crash. However, it also indicates that such a system must not lead to over-reliance by drivers.