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New Safety, Security Via Satellite with Volvo On Call Plus

19 September 2000

New Safety, Security Via Satellite with Volvo On Call Plus
    ROCKLEIGH, N.J., Sept. 18 Volvo On Call Plus, a hi-tech
safety and personal security link that can put drivers in touch with a host of
emergency and other services from virtually anywhere in the continental United
States*, will debut on the sporty 2001 Volvo S60 sedan along with other
selected Volvo models.
    The new system combines Global Positioning System navigation, mobile
telephone technology and direct satellite communications with Volvo's
breakthrough multiplex computer management to create a versatile system that
can summon help in the case of a collision, breakdown or personal threat even
if the car is out of mobile phone range.  Volvo On Call Plus will be available
as an option on selected Volvo models.
    The multi-facetted new system will alert a central monitoring service if
the car is in a collision which triggers the vehicle's airbags and put the
occupants in touch with help if the car is in an area with mobile phone
service.  The system can even dispatch an ambulance to the exact location when
the Volvo On Call Plus alarm center can't talk directly to the passengers.
The system features the auto industry's first direct communications link via
satellite to permit it to function even when outside of cellular telephone
coverage areas.
    Volvo On Call Plus uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation
system to continuously update a memory in the car's mobile phone.  In the case
of a collision, which activates air bag or seat belt pretensioner to deploy,
the telephone is activated by the car's multiplex computer system.  The mobile
phone automatically dials the Volvo On Call Plus customer service center to
transmit data from the incident and the exact location where it has occurred.
At the same time, the system opens a voice line to an operator at the center.
In the event that no one in the car is able to respond, the operator can call
an ambulance to the location based on the location given from the GPS.
    Direct-to-satellite communication is unique to Volvo On Call Plus.  In
areas where there is no mobile phone service, Volvo On Call Plus can notify
the customer service center via a signal directed to an orbiting satellite and
relayed back to a telephone system in the United States.  A text message,
displayed on the car phone's screen, confirms that help is on the way.
    Contacting emergency services is just one facet of Volvo On Call Plus.
The system also has a driver-activated assault alarm, the ability to summon
technical help if the car becomes disabled, automatically notifying Volvo On
Call Plus customer service center, if the car's alarm is triggered and can
also track the car in case it is stolen even if the phone is not switched on.
In addition, Volvo On Call Plus can un-lock the car doors (a helpful feature
for stranded motorists who lock their keys in the car) when the owner contacts
the center and provides the car's security code.
    The heart of the system, the car's integrated telephone system has been
collision tested and is positioned in the car to minimize possible damage in
the event of an impact.  It even has its own back-up battery to provide about
30 minutes of service in case the car's battery is disabled.  Because the
phone's memory is constantly updated by the GPS, it can still function if the
GPS is damaged, based on the last update before a crash.
    Volvo has built a relationship with Verizon Wireless, Orbcomm Global Data
& Messaging along with Cross Country Automotive Services as the service
    Equally important, Volvo On Call Plus is expandable to include future
services as technology and demand increase.  In the short term, the system has
the potential to provide interactive travel directions.  And because of
Volvo's pioneering use of multiplex computer interconnection, it will be
possible to connect the car's computer network to a service facility via the
telephone for remote technical diagnosis.  One day, the car may even be able
to book its own service appointment.
    New services are expected to be added as mobile phone networks expand
their capabilities and new technologies make new features available.  Instant
local weather reports or stock market information, video surveillance for
protection against theft, or even pay-per-view movies are among the many
potential future services.  Perhaps parents may one day be able to relax just
a little when they loan the car to the kids, knowing that they have limited
the speed of the vehicle with one call to Volvo On Call Plus.
    The Volvo On Call Plus option will be available when the service is
launched later this year.
    Volvo On Call Plus option is available on all model year 2001 S60, S80,
V70 and Cross Country by the end of the year.  Volvo automobiles are sold and
serviced through 360 retailers across the country.