Chevrolet Measures Back-to-School Driving Concerns

And when you enter a school zone, slow the hell down

By Gary S. Vasilash

You may have noticed that Chevy ads of late are focusing on how their new vehicles can help keep kids safe.

So as to underscore that with some data, Chevrolet contracted the Harris Poll to survey 1,204 adults who have at least one child from 3 to 18 about their concerns vis-à-vis their offspring and driving, which is likely to be more prevalent this year as many kids will actually be going back to school in person rather than via Zoom.

The survey shows that 68% of the adults think that getting back on the road this year every day is a troubling concern.

One of the issues: 61% say that their teen driver had less time behind the wheel last year and therefore the driving skills may be less than what regular practice could provide.

And then there is the issue of other drivers.

Seventy-eight percent of parents say that other drivers seem more unsafe than they were before the pandemic. Perhaps they lost practice time, too.

And 73% say that there seem to be more aggravated drivers on the road now than there were pre-pandemic, which is certainly a non-trivial issue.

Let’s face it: there is nothing funny about an agitated person who is rusty in their skills piloting a two-ton object at speed.

Drive safely.

Regardless of what you’re driving, physics are physics and accidents do happen—with incredibly unfortunate consequences ensuing.

Volvo: The Return to Safety

Back to a core value

By Gary S. Vasilash

Volvo cars were once widely known for two characteristics:

  1. Their boxy design
  2. The fact that they were built with safety foremost

The company essentially “owned” safety in the minds of consumers.

But in the mid- to late-90s the company wanted to be more than something that was the Official Car Builder for Tweed-Jacket-With-Suede-Elbow-Patch-Wearing and Pipe-Smoking East Coast Professors.

Style took over from safety.

The design team members were evidently given French curves to supplement the T-squares.

And while the engineers back in Gothenburg were still figuring out the materials and the structures and the systems that would make the Swedish vehicles safe, their laudable efforts were eclipsed by things like Val Kilmer’s character driving a C70 in The Saint.

But safety is back.

In 2022 Volvo will launch a fully electric SUV, the flagship model for the brand.

(Image: Volvo)

It will come standard with a LiDAR system, from Luminar, and an on-board supercomputer system, from NVIDIA.

“Volvo Cars is and always has been a leader in safety. It will now define the next level of car safety,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo chief executive.

When it comes to autonomous driving, the thing is that there is little in the way of driving and a whole lot in the way of trusting.

As in trusting that the system is going to work because you are, even though behind the wheel, acting as a passenger.

Safety is huge when it comes to autonomy. Which means a need for plenty of sensors, including LiDAR, and the wherewithal to process that information so that the system will have the appropriate responses (e.g., braking, turning, accelerating).

By coming out and saying that this tech is going to be built in to its new vehicle, it seems as though that Volvo is ready to take that safety mantle back.

(Kilmer? He’ll be back this fall as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick)