When it comes to innovations, our horizons know no limits.

At Volvo Cars we’re proving every day that we’re one of the world’s most progressive car brands. And our story of innovation continues, with many significant recent world firsts – all designed to make your life easier, safer and kinder to the environment.

Sound success

In the process of creating the best sound system in the history of the company, Volvo Cars, together with our audio partners, has introduced a world first – a unique ‘outside air’ subwoofer. Normally, a subwoofer demands a compromise on space within a car’s cabin, but because the XC90’s wheelarch-mounted subwoofer uses air from outside the car, rather than in a separate box, no space is sacrificed. It also sounds better at low frequencies, where it matters.

Braking news

Auto brake at intersection is a Volvo world first. It was introduced in the all-new XC90 in 2014, as part of our City Safety system. Imagine you’re slowing down to turn off a main two-way road. You have to cross traffic approaching in the opposite lane – if you don’t see the oncoming car, intersection braking will apply the brakes for you, helping to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision. It’s another important step towards our goal that nobody should be seriously injured in a new Volvo.

Run-off road protection

Running off road is a type of accident that’s all too common, which is why the all-new XC90 incorporates several ‘run-off road’ technologies to help protect in these types of scenario. For example, Lane Keeping Aid is there to help you stay in lane. Should the worst happen, new world-first seat cushions combine with self-tightening safety belts, absorbing energy in an accident and significantly reducing the risk of spinal injuries, among other benefits.

Parking from your car

Need to find a parking slot quickly? With the latest Sensus Connect, your Volvo can locate a nearby parking place. It’s the world’s first integrated ‘Park’ application – and just one more way in which your Volvo makes your life easier.

Discover Sensus

A tradition of World Firsts

Volvo Cars has a rich heritage of innovation. Here are just a few examples of the world firsts introduced by Volvo throughout our history.

1944: Laminated windscreen
The Volvo PV444 becomes the world’s first car with a laminated windscreen.
1959: Three-point safety belt 
Volvo is first in the world to fit this crucial safety feature, making it standard on Amazons and PV544s in Scandinavian markets.
1964: Rear-facing child seat
Our astronaut-inspired rear-facing child seat prototype in the PV544 would come to production in 1967.
1976: Child booster cushion 
Belt-positioning booster cushion for children. 
1976: Lambda Sond
A three-way catalytic converter and Lambda sensors are fitted to Californian market Volvos, reducing hazardous emissions by up to 90 percent.
1979: Wide-angle mirror
The wide-angle driver’s rear-view mirror gives a much better view of what’s behind. 
1990: Integrated booster cushion
Our fold-down/fold-out booster cushion makes its debut in the rear centre of the Volvo 960. 
1990: Centre rear inertia-reel seat belt
An inertia-reel seat belt for the rear centre seat becomes standard.
1991: SIPS
The Volvo 850’s integrated SIPS side-impact protection system minimises penetration into the passenger compartment in accidents. 
1991: Automatic safety belt adjustment
Automatic height adjustment for safety belts debuts in the Volvo 850.
1998: Inflatable Curtain
A roof-mounted Inflatable Curtain airbag helps protect heads in the S80.
1998: Environmental Product Declaration
Volvo S80 is the first car ever to receive an Environmental Product Declaration. 
1999: Rearward-facing seat for ISOFIX 
The world’s first solution for the standardised, car-integrated ISOFIX fitting system offers a safe and easy way to install a child car seat correctly.
2001: Volvo On Call
Volvo On Call becomes the world’s first fully-integrated and factory-fitted SOS system.
2002: Boron steel 
Super-strong Boron steel is first used, debuting in the XC90.
2003: IDIS
Intelligent Driver Information System delays phone calls and non-critical information when necessary. 
2003: Volvo Ambient Air Cleaner 
VAAC filters noxious fumes and neutralises other cars’ exhaust emissions.
2004: BLIS
Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System monitors the driver’s mirror blind spot. 
2004: Inflatable Curtain for convertibles 
Overcoming the challenge of fitting Inflatable Curtains in convertibles is a world-first.

2005: Driver Alert 
Our innovative system to alert the driver before he or she falls asleep.
2007: Integrated two-stage booster cushion
Our integrated booster cushion has belt pretensioners and two seat heights, making it adaptable for growing children.
2011: Plug-in Diesel Hybrid
Volvo’s V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the world’s first diesel plug-in. 
2012: Pedestrian Airbag 
Pedestrian Airbag Technology debuts on the Volvo V40.
2013: i-Art 
Drive-E diesels feature feedback from each fuel injector.
2013: Cyclist Detection with full auto brake 
Detects and automatically brakes for cyclists.
2014: Inflatable Child Seat 
Rearward-facing child seat concept can be tucked away in a small bag when not in use. 
2014: Food to car
Volvo demonstrates deliveries of food direct to the car.