The Volvo EyeCar is an advanced safety concept car demonstrating entirely new technology designed to automatically give every driver the same optimum seating position to ensure the best possible visibility, comfort and therefore safety. The new technology in the Volvo EyeCar features:

Automatic electrical adjustment of the position of the steering wheel and pedals to provide the most comfortable driving position. (The driver can fine-tune this if necessary.)

An entirely new B-post design to provide a better field of vision from the driver's seat. At the same time, the function of the B-post in the car's collision safety structure has been further enhanced.

Finding the Perfect Driving Position

The Volvo EyeCar uses two forms of technology to determine the position of the driver's eyes; one uses the human eye's unique method of reflecting light, while another uses the fluid content of the human body.

A video camera at the upper inside edge of the windscreen scans the driver's seat to register the driver's head, then locates and pinpoints the exact centre of each eye – all in less than a second.

Since lighting conditions may vary considerably inside a car, the video camera is equipped with its own infrared light source to ensure sufficient lighting. This light is totally invisible to the human eye and does not interfere with the driver in any way.

The eye’s unique reflexes to the incoming light are registered by the camera and the on-board processor automatically adjusts the driver's seat to the optimum height. The pedals, steering column and handbrake lever are then also automatically altered accordingly. The driver can of course make any fine adjustments for the optimum personal ergonomics.

The second technology utilises a sensor integrated into the inner roof to measure electrical current directly above the driver's seat. When someone sits in the seat, these current patterns change according to the water content of the occupant's body. The sensor measures these changes and determines the distance to the top of the driver’s head and the seat can be accurately adjusted.

Enhanced safety

Apart from ensuring the optimum driving position, the Volvo EyeCar’s innovative and stronger design of the B-post eliminates any intrusion in the sideways field of vision too.

Other parts of the EyeCar are also designed for improved crash safety. The adjustable pedals are designed to reduce foot and leg injuries in a frontal impact. The steering column collapses horizontally to give more survival space for the driver, and since the location of the driver is known, it is also possible to fine-tune the way in which the driver's airbag and the side airbags deploy.

The Volvo EyeCar is the first sign that the Volvo Car Corporation has been appointed to lead the development of car safety within the entire Ford Motor Company.