A heritage of child safety innovations

We have remained at the forefront of child safety and research since the 1960s. Discover our most important child safety innovations over the years.

In 1964 Volvo Cars tested the world’s first child seat prototype.

1964 – Testing the first child seat prototype

The first car child seat designed to improve safety was inspired by astronauts’ seats. Rearward facing to distribute forces in a collision. Developed by Prof Bertil Aldman at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg. Volvo was closely involved in project and the prototype was crash tested in a Volvo PV444.

The first child safety accessory adapted for children’s safety.

1967 – First child safety accessory

Intended for children aged one to seven and with additional padded backrest. Uses a reversible front passenger seat and lap belt harness to secure child in place. Sold as an accessory for the Amazon and new Volvo 144.

In 1972 Volvo Cars launched the industry-first rear-facing child seat.

1972 – Rear-facing child seat

In 1972 we launched our first child seat - a world first by a car manufacturer. The child seat was rear-facing, designed to distribute forces in the event of a collision and could accommodate children up to approximately six years-old.

In 1975 Volvo Cars launched the second-generation rear-facing child seat.

1975 – Second-generation child seat

In 1975 we launched our second-generation rear-facing child seat. Like its predecessor, it was designed to distribute forces in the event of a collision to minimize injury. Attached by straps to the seat structure, this was a new type of fixation, which was more flexible and easier to use compared to the first generation.

The world first booster cushion was launched by Volvo Cars in 1978

1978 – The first booster cushion

The first booster cushion for older children who had outgrown a rear-facing child seat was introduced by Volvo Cars in 1978 and it was a world first. The booster cushion positioned the child for optimal protection by the safety belt and set a new global standard for child safety.

Volvo Cars launched its second-generation booster seat in 1985.

1985 – Second-generation booster seat

We launched an upgraded booster seat in 1985 with comfort foam and a removable backrest, improving comfort as well as head support in cars with no head restraints. The booster raised the child to help position the lap belt low on the hips, and the shoulder belt position on the mid-shoulder.

The third-generation child seat by Volvo Cars was launched in 1986.

1986 – Third-generation child seat

In 1986 we launched our third-generation rearward-facing child seat. The child seat pioneered the attachment principles still used today, including a support leg for rear seat installation, which was approved in 1990. The seat was also developed for use on the US market, where it was available for some years.

All-new booster seat with removable backrest was launched by Volvo Cars in 1989.

1989 – All-new booster seat

An all-new booster seat was launched by Volvo Cars in 1989 as the third-generation booster. It came with redesigned belt guides and an updated removable, height-adjustable backrest. The backrest’s head side support provided extra convenience and comfort.

The integrated booster cushion was a world first by Volvo Cars when launched in 1990.

1990 – The integrated booster cushion

The integrated booster cushion launched in 1990 was a world first by Volvo Cars, providing built-in protection for children aged four years and older. Developed together with the vehicle restraints, it provided premium protection and comfort. It was introduced in the Volvo 850 and 900 series with a smart fold down and out design.

Fourth-generation rearward-facing seat launched by Volvo Cars in 1994.

1994 – Fourth-generation child seat

Our fourth-generation rearward-facing child seat with improved head and side impact protection was launched in 1994. It was lighter and easier to carry and came with a new infant child support insert.

Integrated booster cushions for outer rear seats were launched by Volvo Cars in 1995.

1995 – Double rear seat booster cushions

The first integrated booster cushions for outer rear seating positions were launched by Volvo Cars in 1995, enabling two built in boosters for children. This new pop-up cushion design was introduced in the Volvo S40.

In 2000, Volvo Cars launched the world’s first rear-facing child seat with ISOFIX.

2000 – Rear-facing child seat with ISOFIX

We launched the world’s first rearward-facing child seat with ISOFIX. Safe and easy way to install child seat correctly and an infant seat or child seat can be fitted to the same base.

Britax Baby Safe ISOFIX for infants was launched in 2005 in collaboration with Volvo Cars.

2005 – New ISOFIX seats with Britax

We teamed up with Britax to develop new ISOFIX rearward-facing seats. These were the Britax Baby Safe ISOFIX for infants and Britax Fixway ISOFIX for larger children up to four years old.

The world’s first built in 2-stage booster cushion launched by Volvo Cars in 2007.

2007 – Two-stage built-in booster cushion

The world’s first built in booster cushion with two sitting heights, adaptable for growing children. It enabled a better seating position, depending on the child’s height. Introduced in the Volvo V70 and XC70 with safety belt pre-tensioners and load-limiters adapted for children.

In 2009 Volvo Cars introduced a new generation of child seats.

2009 – New generation of child seats

New generation of Volvo child seats developed in cooperation with Britax in an age range from newborn to ten years old. Enable rearward seating for children up to 25kg (approx.. six years) and comfortable adjustable booster seat for larger children.

The world first inflatable child seat concept by Volvo Cars.

2014 – Inflatable child seat concept

Inflatable rearward-facing child seat concept made from unique inflatable fabric that is very strong. It’s easy to transfer between cars and tucks away in a small bag when not in use. Very lightweight, only 5kg and fits in airline carry-on luggage.

The Excellence child seat concept by Volvo Cars from 2015.

2015 – Excellence child seat concept

The built-in rear-facing child seat concept was designed exclusively for the XC90 Excellence. The child seat concept swivelled and locked into place in the front passenger area making it easy to get a child in and out. It also allowed eye contact with rear seat passengers and had a storage space at the side and base of the seat.

New Volvo Cars child seat launched in 2016.

2016 – New child seat range by Volvo Cars

New range of child seats developed in cooperation with Britax. Unique Volvo fabric with breathable 80 % natural wool for comfort and Scandinavian design that harmonious with latest Volvo car interiors.

Volvo Cars rear-facing child seat with swivel function for easier entry.

2019 – Swivel function introduced

The latest addition to our range of rearward-facing child seats from Volvo Cars was designed to make your life easier. We did this by incorporating a swivel function that allowed you to turn the seat ninety degrees towards the door, making it easier to seat and secure your child.

A safety belt in grey with the text "Since 1959" engraved on the buckle.

Decades of safety innovations

Ever since our founding in 1927, we’ve been designing cars that put people first. Discover our most important safety innovations over the years.

A child sitting in a Volvo child seat looking outside

Child safety

We innovate and constantly seek to improve safety for your children when they travel in our cars, even before they are born.

Features and products depicted may not be available in all markets and where available they may not be standard for all styles and engine options.