2021 Volvo Models to Alert Drivers & Municipalities via New Data Sharing & Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Strategy

Volvo has announced a new partnership with Waycare Technologies to share anonymized information with local traffic municipalities and the Waze navigation app. Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert, two relatively new ADAS features, are able to notify drivers of other Volvo vehicles to potentially hazardous situations and other safety concerns. This vehicle-to-vehicle communication between Volvo vehicles is designed to automatically alert drivers via a cloud-based network when hazard lights are illuminated, or when low friction surfaces are detected.

Real-Time Safety Data

Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert first appeared in Sweden and Norway in 2016 on Volvo’s 90 Series cars. Both features will be standard on all 2021 Volvo models sold in the United States. Owners can activate or deactivate the features via the infotainment screen. According to Volvo, drivers may have more time to adjust to safety-critical situations since the features can communicate in a vehicle-to-vehicle capacity.

“Sharing real-time safety data between cars can help avoid accidents,” said Malin Ekholm, head of Volvo Cars Safety Center. “Volvo owners directly contribute to making roads safer for other drivers that enable the feature, while they also benefit from early warnings to potentially dangerous conditions ahead.”

Slippery Road Alert demonstration with a Volvo V60.
Slippery Road Alert demonstration with a Volvo V60. Photo: Volvo Car USA.

Data Sharing & Public Safety

Through the Waycare partnership, Volvo can also share connected but anonymous safety data for integration with other sources, including infrastructure, telematics, and weather forecasts. Waycare uses AI technology to synthesize that data as a way to provide operational insights and support to local U.S. transportation agencies. These agencies can send any and all insights to public feeds such as the 5-1-1 transportation and traffic information hotline. Furthermore, Waycare can share synthesized data with the Waze navigation app in certain areas.

“Volvo’s slippery road and hazard light data provides an important new dimension to Waycare’s AI-driven traffic management platform,” said Noam Maital, CEO of Waycare Technologies. “The data will further power our platform’s ability to provide early incident identification and use of predictive analytics for proactive traffic management operations.”

“Enhancing safety for all is at the core of the Volvo brand,” added Anders Gustafsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “By enabling our cars to share potential road hazards with each other and with the public, we believe we can help make roads safer.”

Hazard Light Alert demonstration on a V90 Cross Country.
Hazard Light Alert demonstration on a V90 Cross Country. Photo: Volvo Car USA.

Current Availability

Connected safety data sharing between Volvo vehicles is available throughout the U.S. Likewise, connected safety data sharing with Waycare and its partners is currently available at locations where Waycare houses their Traffic Management Platform. This includes Nevada, Central Ohio, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, San Francisco/Bay Area, and western Florida. Waycare has plans to expand to other areas in the future, as does Volvo.

“The more vehicles we have sharing safety data in real-time, the safer our roads become,” Ekholm said. “We hope to establish more collaborations with partners who share our commitment to safety.”