Innovation for greater safety

The vision of Volvo Cars is to design cars that do not crash. In the shorter perspective, the aim is that by 2020 no one should be killed or injured in a new Volvo.

Support, prevent and protect

Today, Volvo Cars is on the forefront of prevention and active safety through the development of systems that keep the driver alert and well-informed. And if the driver cannot manage a situation, the car, in some situations, can. In the cases where an accident does happen, the passive safety solutions kick in and help protect the people in the car.

For Volvo Cars’ vision to become reality, a comprehensive approach must be taken to responsibility for the traffic environment. The starting point is that future society needs common solutions to handle every part of traffic safety. The company therefore participates in a number of partnerships with other companies, authorities and organisations. One example is EuroFOT, where 28 different partners cooperate on field tests of active safety with the support of the European Commission in order to better understand the interaction between driver, car and traffic environment.

Successful road train tests

Soon, cars are expected to be able to communicate with both other vehicles on the road and the traffic environment. In the EU SARTRE project (Safe Road Trains for the Environment), seven European partners are working together to create environmentally efficient and safe road trains. In December 2011, the first successful tests were conducted where cars travelled in convoys led by a lead vehicle.

Volvo Cars participates as the only carmaker in the project, which is now in its final phase. Road trains free up time from driving and increases traffic safety thanks to the fact that distractions to the drivers are reduced and along with them the risk of mistakes during long-haul trips. In addition, lower air resistance leads to a reduction in fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.

 Read more about the successful road train test.

Clear reduction of accidents

Volvo Cars is a leader in the field of active safety with solutions such as the Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake and City Safety, an automated brake system that contributes to, at lower speeds, avoiding or reducing the consequences of an accident.

In the US and Europe, several insurance companies have lowered premiums on cars with City Safety because the number of accidents has dropped sharply. A new report from the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that the accident frequency decreased by 22 percent. At the same time, insurance claims for personal injuries decreased by 51 percent and workshop expenses dropped by more than 20 percent.

Traffic accidents with pedestrians are common and often have serious consequences. In 2010, Volvo Cars launched its unique Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake that discovers, warns and brakes for pedestrians that suddenly enter the road. If all cars were equipped with Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake, the number of pedestrian fatalities in traffic would decrease by 24 percent according to Volvo Cars’ estimates, and by up to 85 percent in special cases according to a research report (Pedestrian fatality risk as a function of car impact speed, Rosén and Sander, 2009).

Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake

 Read more about the Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake

More innovations in new V40

Pedestrian Airbag Technology
Pedestrian Airbag Technology

In March 2012, the new V40 was premiered with the world first Pedestrian Airbag Technology. The airbag is included as a part of Volvo Cars’ extensive pedestrian protection. Sensors in the front discover that there is a pedestrian that is being hit and activate the airbag, which lifts the back part of the bonnet and then extends over part of the windscreen area. The combination of the lifted bonnet and airbag will help reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries.

Another innovation launched in the new V40 is the Lane Keeping Aid, a system that physically keeps the car in the lane if the driver mistakenly drifts out of his or her lane.

With more than 80 years’ experience of car safety, Volvo Cars has a methodical approach for constant improvements and development. This includes the company’s own traffic accident research team, which is a one of a kind and has collected accident data from more than 40,000 Volvo cars in Sweden over the past 40 years.

 Read more about the Pedestrian Airbag Technology