An image illustrating people and pets left in the back of the EX90.

Radar will alert you if you leave someone in the EX90.
Image: Volvo

From its first three-point seatbelt in 1959 to the side-impact protection pioneered in the 850, Volvo has always been about safety. Now, the Swedish carmaker is preparing to unveil a raft of new features designed to keep you safe in its upcoming EX90 all-electric SUV, including radar to monitor the interior of the vehicle.

When it launches in November, the EX90 will be fitted with a new system that sees Volvo install radar for the inside of the car. Gunnar Ohlsson, product owner, interior systems at Volvo, said: “We have spaced radars throughout the entire cabin, complete coverage from front to back and even in the rear luggage area, the trunk.”

These radars will then be used to detect who is in the car, where they are seated and if they are using the seatbelts. Ohlsson says it should help reduce false positives from traditional pressure sensors in the seats that might ask you to buckle up your backpack.

A render showing multiple Volvo SUV concept cars.

A glimpse of the future?
Image: Volvo

But, that’s not the only purpose this system was designed for. Radar can make finer measurements to detect movement and even the breathing patterns of your occupants, even if they are hidden from view because they’ve fallen asleep under a blanket or something.

It’s for this reason that the system is being rolled out for its primary purpose, to ensure kids and pets aren’t forgotten in the back of a car on a hot day.

An image showing a Volvo SUV concept car.

Volvo’s next SUV will be packed with sensors.
Image: Volvo

To do this, 60 gigahertz radar systems have been installed in the roof of the EX90 to monitor where people are in the car. If you get out and try to lock the EV with someone still inside, the car won’t let you and will flash up a warning on the center console.

Lotta Jakobsson, Volvo’s senior technical specialist in injury prevention explains: “The presence detection system is really about us alerting the driver when leaving the car. That is when we need the information on breathing, so it is important that we can measure small children underneath blankets, within their child seats.”

An image of a Volvo XC90 SUV driving on a road.

The successor to the XC90 will be unveiled on November 9th.
Image: Volvo

According to Volvo, more than 900 children have been killed in the U.S. after they were accidentally left in cars in hot weather. Jakobsson and the team are hopeful that tech such as this can help put a stop to similar deaths.

She adds: “Saving one child from dying from heat stroke in a car, then that would make me very happy.”

The system will initially roll out on the EX90 all-electric SUV, which is slated to be unveiled on November 9. Volvo added that the new tech “will also be included in other forthcoming Volvo car models.”

A photo of the seats in the Volvo XC90

Radar will be able to scan the seats in the XC90’s all-electric successor.
Image: Volvo


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