A Volvo salesperson offered to demonstrate the Volvo XC60 *Pedestrian Safety System* before prospective buyers. Let’s make sure the buyers are snapping pix right in front of the car, as driver accelerates toward them. What can go wrong?

What can go wrong… is that this particular Volvo XC60 was not equipped with the optional Pedestrian Safety System. That’s a $3,000 option, that was not installed in the dealer demo car. The video below shows what it’s like to be a human bowling pin.  (No sound)

A couple of observations.

1) Gosh that must have hurt.

2) This is not a case of Volvo technology not working. It wasn’t even installed in the car. It’s not standard on Volvo. Something called “City Safety” which protects the car from hitting other cars in heavy traffic is standard.  We have “pilot error” here.

3) Is this some inadequate employee training or what? Or the impact of a liquid lunch? The salesperson should have known instantly “WTF” because he would have noticed that the pedestrian system was not blaring an alarm and flashing orange and red lights in the heads up display.  Which his training would have covered.  No blaring, no stopping at last second in front of pedestrian.

Of course at the speed this guy accelerated to within such a short distance, the driver could hardly have reacted. Oh, and the other thing: if the system had been installed, it apparently doesn’t work when the maniac behind the wheel is accelerating. Says Volvo.

And why was the guy accelerating to 60 mph inside of 12 feet?

4) Who would ever stand in front of an accelerating car no matter how equipped with AI technology it might be? Have you been watching Roadrunner cartoons? Do you have a Wile E. Coyote complex?

Fortunately, reports are that none of the victims were seriously hurt. The story points to the need for clear and standardized descriptions of functionality levels as cars, trucks etc. become increasingly automated.

Please share via social media to your friends to remind them to avoid standing in front of speeding cars.