Volvo is dead serious about death-free driving
If you were to do a word association test and the word “Volvo” came up, then it’s a reasonable bet that the first word that popped into your head would be “safety”.
Volvos have always been synonymous with safety. Long before safety equipment like airbags, head restraints and even seatbelts became compulsory, Volvo were building safety into their cars from the tyres up.
Well lately they’ve been taking that commitment to a whole new level with a commitment to producing “death-proof” cars by 2020. Their goal is that no one will die or even be badly injured in a new Volvo by that date. That’s some commitment but it’s one that Volvo is taking very seriously with a dedicated research effort and some of the most advanced technology ever seen in cars.
Part of that research effort is its accident research commission in Göteburg on Sweden’s west coast. It’s been rigorously examining Swedish Volvo accidents for years in an effort to make their cars safer. They’re so committed to the task that should an accident occur within 100km of Göteburg at any time of the day or night the team fly into action to carry out a detailed analysis of it.
With its research foundations now firmly established Volvo is now mapping out the design territory for its death-proof cars.
It starts with making its cars as safe and protective as possible in a crash with airbags, seat belts, crumple zones and side impact protection systems.
The next step is crash avoidance technology such as adaptive cruise control, auto steering, auto lane keeping and collision avoidance systems. Add pedestrian and large animal detection systems and the ability to read signs and you’re well on the way to an extremely safe car that’s very unlikely to crash and unlikely to seriously harm you if it does.
The final step is autonomous driving, when removing the human factor will make Volvos the safest car possible. Volvo is obviously convinced that the most dangerous part of a car is still “the nut behind the wheel”.
It’s certainly a bold ambition and Volvo aren’t discounting the fact that deliberate driver stupidity could still see people injuring themselves in crashes. Some idiots are pretty ingenious after all. But how realistic is Volvo’s pledge? Well it might be more achievable than you think because from 2009-2012 no one died in a Volvo XC90 in the United States. Curiously enough it wasn’t alone. The Kia Sorento, Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz GL, Toyota Highlander and Sequoia also recorded no deaths in that period.
The Volvo XC90 might well be the safest car on the road today with an amazing array of technology to prevent crashes and keep the driver and passengers safe should the worst still occur. But it’s doubtful that it will always have the field to itself with the rapid development of affordable safety systems and autonomous vehicles promising safer driving for all. That’s got to be a good thing for all who use the roads. If you're serious about your on-road safety, the Volvo XC90 D5 is available on a Fleetcare novated lease for $2,282.28 per month*.
*Quote is correct at the time of publishing and is based on a 3 year lease with 45, 000 kms travelled per year. Price is subject to change and all quotes generated will be based on individual cicumstances.
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