Volvo gunning for zero traffic deaths

By RELAXNEWS | 15 February 2016

CHICAGO: Lex Kerssemakers, the head of Volvo's operations in the US said that the only acceptable number of road traffic deaths is "zero".

Addressing the crowds on the opening day of the Chicago Auto Show, Kerssemakers outlined Volvo's ambitious aim — Vision 2020 — the goal of which is to ensure no one travelling in a new Volvo is killed or injured in a crash by the end of the decade.

"It is unacceptable that more than 1.2 million people are killed in traffic annually," Kerssemakers said. "Here in the US, the figure is approximately 33,000 people. Zero is the only acceptable number for us to work towards."

Volvo built its reputation on safety and has been one of the early leaders in the development of semi-autonomous driving systems, technologies the company sees as being crucial to reducing and eventually eliminating deaths caused by road traffic accidents.

The S90 sedan, which is being showcased at the Chicago Auto Show is the first mass-market car to go on sale in the US with a host of semi-autonomous drive features, including highway navigation, as standard. But that is just the beginning.

"At the end of 2017, we will have the largest and world's first fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles in the hands of real customers," Kerssemakers said, referring to Volvo's multi-year autonomous driving tehnology project — Drive Me — currently underway in Gothenburg, Sweden. "It will allow real customer feedback to help develop the first AD cars available to a wider audience. It will also assist authorities to understand how legislation, infrastructure planning and other societal elements will need to develop."

The Chicago show runs from Feb 13-21.