As the Independent reports, the horrifying pictures went viral and were presumed to have resulted from a malfunction with the car.
Only it wasn't a malfunction.
Instead, in what is perhaps the most epic "option" in the history of automotive history, Volvo decided to make the special feature known as “pedestrian detection functionality” cost extra money.
It gets better: the cars do have auto-braking features as standard, but only for avoiding other cars — if they are to avoid crashing into pedestrians, too, then owners must pay extra.
“It appears as if the car in this video is not equipped with Pedestrian detection,” Volvo spokesperson Johan Larsson told Fusion. “This is sold as a separate package.”Indeed: a "self-driving" parking car which conveniently has an optional extra that stops the car from smashing into people.
The feature uses a radar and camera to see pedestrians.
“The pedestrian detection would likely have been inactivated due to the driver inactivating it by intentionally and actively accelerating,” Larsson said. “Hence, the auto braking function is overrided by the driver and deactivated.”
The blog that uploaded the video said that the two men “were bruised but are ok”. They said that “sources” had told them that “the drivers forgot to turn on ‘City-Safe’ mode”.
In other words, unless you can fork over the extra couple thousand bucks, the future "self-driving" car becomes a war truck right out of Mad Max, filled with an insatiable desire to mangle and crush any carbon-based life forms that have the misfortune of crossing its path.