In a Volvo vehicle, safety is fully integrated into its development. To the engineers and designers at Volvo Car Corporation, it is the interplay between its design and various safety technologies that determines how safe a vehicle is, not the amount of individual components and features. The aim is to design a vehicle that is safe in a global and holistic perspective, with different size of occupants and in different traffic environments. This holistic view is, and always has been, a cornerstone of Volvo Cars' safety philosophy.
Preventive safety is a very efficient way to reduce the number of incidents in the traffic environment and is therefore an important area of Volvo Cars' research and development. Preventive safety includes the safety technologies that help the Volvo driver to avoid an incident in the first place. Examples of such preventative safety technologies are Distance Alert and Driver Alert Control. Others support the driver when a collision is about to occur in order to help the driver to avoid or potentially reduce the severity of the collsion. For example, Collision Warning with Autobrake and Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC). Real world safety is a key expression in Volvo Cars' safety philosophy and the technologies within the preventive safety area can create significant improvements.
If a collision does occur, a Volvo vehicle is also designed to help protect the occupants. The design of the vehicle and its safety technologies -- such as the safety belt and pretensioners in combination with airbags, inflatable curtains -- help to make Volvo vehicles among the world's safest. Another aim for Volvo's protective safety development is to help protect unprotected road users such as motorcyclists and pedestrians.
Volvo Cars was the first car manufacturer to develop its own child restraint in the 1970's. The company has developed integrated booster cushions and rear-facing child restraints and was among the first to develop a virtual pregnant test dummy.
Volvo Cars has also developed the world's first dual-stage integrated booster cushion (currently available on the V70, XC70 and the XC60 in 2009). The new booster cushion allows the seat belt to better adapt to the child's stature and allow them to see out the window.
The Personal Car Communicator (PCC), is an advanced pocket-sized control centre which provides information which in some circumstances may be of interest to the Volvo vehicle owner for their personal security. A simple push of a button can, within a few seconds, tell the vehicle owner if the vehicle is locked or unlocked, if the alarm has been triggered or if the alarm has been triggered and if a human heartbeat has been detected inside the vehicle.
VOLVO CARS SAFETY CENTRE
This unique centre in Gothenburg opened in 2000 and is the most advanced facility of its kind. The advanced laboratory helps the researchers to simulate real-life traffic conditions. The crash laboratory features both a fixed test track and a moving test track, from 0 to 90 degrees. Comprehensive full-scale tests are performed on vehicle-to-vehicle tests, frontal impacts, offset tests, bus or truck as well as other objects in the traffic environment at different speed with different size of the crash test dummies in different crash angles to verify occupant safety according to the real traffic environment.
The Volvo Cars Safety Centre represents a true breakthrough in safety research. The Ford Motor Company and the Volvo Group also use the facility.
MILESTONES IN SAFETY
1944 Safety cage
1944 Laminated windscreen
1959 Three-point seat belts in the front
1960 Padded instrument panel
1964 Prototype of the first rear-facing child seat is tested in a Volvo
1966 Twin-circuit triangular (three-wheel) backup braking system
1966 Crumple zones
1967 Seat belts in the rear
1968 Head restraints front
1969 Three-point inertia-reel seat belts in the front
1972 Three-point seat belts in the rear
1972 Rear-facing child seat and child-proof door locks
1972 Volvo Experimental Safety Car (VESC)
1973 Energy-absorbing steering column
1974 Energy-absorbing bumpers
1974 Petrol tank relocated for enhanced safety
1978 Child booster cushion for children
1982 Under-run protection
1982 Door mirrors of wide-angle type
1984 ABS, anti-locking brakes
1986 Brake lights at eye level
1986 Three-point seat belt in the middle of the rear seat
1987 Seat belt pre-tensioner
1987 Driver's airbag
1990 Integrated booster cushion for children
1991 SIPS, side impact collision protection
1991 Automatic height adjustment of front seat belts
1993 Three-point inertia-reel seat belt in all the seats
1994 SIPS, side-impact airbags
1997 ROPS, Roll-Over Protection System convertible (C70)
1998 WHIPS, protection against whiplash injuries
1998 IC, inflatable curtain,
1998 DSTC, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control
2000 Volvo Cars Safety Centre inaugurated in Göteborg on 29 March
2000 ISOFIX attachments for child seats
2000 Two-stage airbag
2000 Volvo On Call safety system
2001 Volvo Safety Concept Car (SCC)
2002 RSC, Roll Stability Control
2002 ROPS, Roll-Over Protection System SUV (XC90)
2002 Lower cross-member at the front - protection system for oncoming cars
2002 Development of virtual "pregnant" crash-test dummy
2003 IDIS, intelligent system for driver information
2003 Patented new structure at the front reduces collision forces
2003 Bangkok's Traffic Accident Research Centre (TARC) is inaugurated
2004 BLIS, system for information about the blind spot offset rear
2004 DMIC, door-mounted side airbag for convertibles
2005 Volvo's co-driver-system
2005 Multi Lock, combined alcolock and lock for the seat belt and key for speed restriction (research project)
2006 ACC, Adaptive Cruise Control
2006 Personal Car Communicator (PCC)
2006 Collision warning with brake support
2006 Active Bi-Xenon headlamps
2007 Integrated two-stage child booster cushion
2007 CWAB, Collision Warning with Auto Brake,
2007 Driver Alert Control
2007 Lane Departure Warning
2008 Pre-Prepared Restraints,
2008 City Safety, low speed collision avoidance
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