1972 – rearward-facing child safety seat

Remember those early images of astronauts lying on their backs during take-off to even out the forces? Well, that was the basic principle behind our rearward-facing child seats, to spread the load and minimise injury. Then we innovated in 1976 with the child booster seat and again in 1990 with an integrated booster built right into the seat.

1976 – lambda sond

The Lambda Sond was yet another contribution to a cleaner environment from Volvo Cars. A little device the size of a finger – actually, it’s an oxygen-sensing probe – meant that we reduced harmful exhaust emissions by 90%. And nearly 40 years on virtually every petrol-engine car in the world has a Lambda Sond fitted.

1998 – inflatable curtain

The inflatable curtain was yet another leap forward in safety for Volvo Cars. It’s concealed in the headliner and runs from the front to the rear of the cabin – in the event of a side impact, the curtain inflates in just 25 thousandths of a second and can absorb 75% of the energy generated when the head is thrown sideways.

2002 – roll-over protection system (ROPS)

With the growing popularity of SUVs, we reckoned it was time to introduce our next safety innovation – rollover protection. We tackled the problem from two directions. Firstly, we enhanced our SUVs’ stability with a sophisticated electronic Roll Stability Control system and secondly, we improved the car’s safety structure with extremely tough boron steel in the roof.