PETALING JAYA: Volvo Cars marked its 97th birthday in 2024, and over the decades, the Swedish luxury marque has been synonymous with safety innovations.
Volvo Cars is behind some of the most important inventions and innovations in the history of car safety, such as three-point safety belts in the PV544 in 1959.
It’s estimated that over one million lives have been saved as a result of Volvo Cars waiving its patent rights, so everybody could benefit.
The illustrious list of Volvo Cars' safety innovations also include industry-first rearward-facing child seats (1972), the world’s first belt-positioning booster which allowed children from 4 years of age to travel facing forward (1978), the first built-in booster cushion (1990), the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) in 1991, the Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) in 1998, the inflatable curtain airbag in 1998, the Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS) in 2002, and the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) in 2003.
In 2008, starting with the first-generation Volvo XC60, the group introduced the autonomous emergency braking system City Safety as standard equipment in all new cars.
Other safety innovations include Pedestrian detection with full auto brake (2010), Run-off road protection (2014), connected safety – Slippery Road Alert and Hazard Light Alert – which use the cloud to share critical data between vehicles (2016), and Oncoming mitigation by braking (2018).
Also, in 2007, Volvo Cars announced a vision stating that no one should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo car from 2020.
Ultimately, in its ambition to deliver ever safer cars, Volvo Cars' long-term aim is to achieve zero collisions and avoid crashes altogether.
Another key driver for Volvo’s safety vision is the Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Sweden, where on average, it crashes at least one brand new Volvo a day.
The Volvo Cars Safety Centre crash lab is a multifunctional facility that allows Volvo Cars safety engineers to recreate countless traffic situations and accidents, and perform tests that go beyond regulatory requirements.
These include performing tests like roll-over crashes and run-off road scenarios, whereby cars are launched into a ditch at high speeds.
Since the 1970s, Volvo Cars has analysed over 43,000 cars from real-life collisions involving over 72,000 occupants.
Starting 2019, through the EVA (Equal Vehicles for All) initiative, the group has shared over 40 years of safety research - easily accessible in a digital library, open for anyone to download.
The EVA initiative is to ensure everyone is represented – not just men, but women and children – when designing for safety.
Meanwhile, the Volvo Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving aid is offered across all the Swedish luxury marque's contemporary models.
This clever driver-support technology makes long freeway journeys more relaxing and comfortable, by providing steering assistance to keep the car within its own lane and also, help to maintain a set speed and distance to the vehicle ahead.
Volvo Cars is also developing a Driver Understanding System, which uses two cameras to pick up early signals that indicate that the driver is not at their best (distracted, sleepy or even intoxicated).
Also, the car’s capacitive steering wheel can sense if the driver lets go of the wheel.
By using Volvo Cars' patented technology for real time sensing of gaze patterns and steering behavior, the car will be able to take appropriate action to help the driver when needed.
If the driver doesn’t respond to increasingly clear warnings, the car can even safely stop by the side of the road, sending a warning to other road users with its hazard lights.
To experience the safety innovations available in a Volvo, sign up for Volvo Car Malaysia’s Safety Driving Experience on March 2-3, 2024 via https://safetydrive.volvocarmalaysia.com
Participants would be able to drive and test out the safety features on both the Volvo BEVs (battery electric vehicles) and PHEVs (plug-in hybrids).
As there is a limited capacity of 150 persons for the safety driving event, registrations would be on a first-come first-served basis.