Press Releases

Safety 2007 - 2008



In a Volvo, safety is an integrated solution. It is the interplay between its design and various safety technologies that determines how safe a car is, not the amount of individual components and features. The aim is to design a car 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 technologies are e.g. Distance Alert and Driver Alert Control. Others support the driver when a collision is about to happen, in order to help the driver to avoid or reduce the concequences of an accident. Examples of such technologies are Collision Warning with Autobrake and DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control). Real life safety is a key expression in Volvo Cars' safety philosophy and the  technologies within the preventive safety area can create significant improvements in real-life-traffic.


If an accident should occur, a Volvo is designed to help protect the occupants. The design of the car and its safety technologies such as the safety belt and pretensioners in combination with airbags, inflatable curtains help to make a Volvo one of the world's safest cars. Another aim for Volvo's protective safety development is to help protect unprotected road users e.g. motorcyclists and pedestrians.


Volvo Car Corporation was, in the beginning of  the 1970-ies, the first car manufacturer to develop its own child restraint. Volvo Cars has developed integrated booster cushions and rear-facing child restraints. Volvo Car Corporation was also among the first to develop a virtual pregnant test dummy.

We recommend children up to 3-4 years of age to travel rearward facing. This to enhance support to the spine and head and distribute the forces over a large part of the body in the event of a frontal impact.

For infants up to nine months of age, a baby insert can be added to the child seat. There is also a separate infant seat and child seat with ISOFIX attachments. The ISOFIX system is very convenient since it allows simple installation and removal of the seat.

For the older child, from four to about ten years old (height of 150 cm) the booster cushion is recommended. The booster cushion allows the belt geometry of the adult seat belt to function in a better way with respect to the child occupant. The booster cushion raises the child, so the lap part of the belt can be positioned over the thighs and not over the abdomen. Other advantages of using the booster cushion are that the child, by sitting higher will have a more comfortable belt position over the shoulder and will also have a better view. To help increase the use of child restraint Volvo's new integrated child booster cushions can be set at a choice of two heights.



In an increasingly insecure world, it is important to have control over what happens in one's immediate vicinity, not least when you park your car. 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 car owner. A simple push of a button can within a few seconds tell the car owner if the car is locked or unlocked, if the alarm has been triggered or if the alarm has been triggered and someone is inside the car. This can be registered by a sensitive heartbeat sensor and an advanced calculation process.

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 car-to-car 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.


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 Bending Lights (ABL)

2007 Integrated two-stage child booster cushion

2007 CWAB, Collision Warning with Auto Brake,

2007 Driver Alert Control

2007 Lane Departure Warning

2008 Alcoguard

2008 Pre-Prepared Restraints,

2008 City Safety, low speed collision avoidance


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