Cecilia Larsson, Senior Director at Volvo Cars Safety Centre, explains how the study of real-life accidents helps Volvo to develop safer cars.
“Our vision is to design cars that do not crash, and that by 2020 no one should be killed or injured in a new Volvo. So this is what we work for and aim towards. We take one big step with our newest car, the XC90, and we want to continue towards this vision with all our new cars. We do that by applying knowledge based on data from real life, real world data. That’s what’s unique about us.
Our data goes all the way back to the 1970s. This helps us understand why we have crashes, how they happen and what kind of injuries they cause. Then we develop our cars to address those real life needs. We’ve had a traffic accident research team since 1970. It’s a team that’s on standby 24/7 to carry out on-the-scene analyses of crashes involving Volvos. They talk to people involved. They study the scene. They take photos, look at the cars and bring them in for in-depth analysis.
We have data from more than 43,000 crashes, involving about 70,000 occupants. The data we collect helps us to understand what kind of crash scenarios to prioritise. We develop test methods to represent real life situations and then develop our cars to address those problems.
For each new car we implement all the knowledge we have so far and then take the next step. Knowledge saves lives. Our continuously collected data shows the injury risk going down. And, by 2020, we’re aiming for, well, no one.”