Volvo Car Corporation is a leading car manufacturer when it comes to both preventive and protective safety. The company has a long history of developing advanced safety technologies, and now focuses on a new generation of groundbreaking safety systems. These are intended to increase safety for people both inside and outside the vehicle, as well as to allow a more relaxed and enjoyable driving.
Protective by tradition - active in the making
Volvo Car Corporation has a long tradition of pro-active safety thinking. About 80 years ago, founders Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson proclaimed that ’Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo therefore, is - and must remain - safety.’ Back then, the main focus would have been what Volvo Car Corporation today calls passive safety, meaning systems and functions that help protect people in the event of an accident. Over time, the company has broadened its outlook to also include the development of highly sophisticated active safety systems.
- Today we focus on technologies that predict and prevent accidents from even occurring, says Ingrid Skogsmo, Safety Director at Volvo Car Corporation.
The car, the traffic and the driver
Volvo Car Corporation develops safety systems out of three main perspectives: the car, the traffic
situation and the human being. Volvo vehicles are renowned for safety when it comes to construction and materials, but no matter how safe the car is or how well the traffic situation can be controlled, safety always depends on the human being. The driver must stay alert, be able to make quick decisions in stressful situations and not give in to fatigue, which is often easier said than done.
- Research has shown that often when a car ploughs straight into the rear of another car, the driver never hit the brakes, says Ingrid Skogsmo. This is probably because the driver never saw what was going to happen, and therefore had no chance to prevent the accident. Our active safety systems are developed to help increase the margins so that the driver has time to manoeuvre the car out of the threatening situation.
Reinforcing the human eye
Busy streets, multiple choices and new communication tools all compete with the driver’s attention. To help the driver decide which information is more important, Volvo vehicles can be equipped with advanced technology that reads traffic quicker than the human eye. The active safety systems warn about threats, and can even step in and act in critical situations if there is not enough time for the driver to avoid them.
- That does not mean that the system takes over the driving, it merely assists the driver to increase safety and make the driving experience more enjoyable, says Ingrid Skogsmo.
To promote the forming of a safer and less stressful traffic situation, Volvo Car Corporation also encourages co-operation between car manufacturers and others with a common interest in traffic safety. This could mean a collective preventive work where for example authorities, road construction companies and the telecom industry join together to develop a safer infrastructure.
Innovative safety systems already in use
Several active safety systems developed by Volvo Car Corporation are already in use. The IDIS Intelligent Driver Information System, was introduced as a world-first in 2003. IDIS sorts incoming information according to relevance and delays phone calls, text messages and other non-critical information in situations that demand the driver’s full attention. The idea is to help prevent the driver from suffering information overload during e.g. braking or overtaking.
- We are now developing the system further to form an umbrella for all active safety systems, says Ingrid Skogsmo. Our goal is to make it function as a co-driver, with similar status and reliability as those of a co-pilot.
For further information, please visit Volvo Car Corporation’s Newsroom at www.media.volvocars.com or contact:
Christer Gustafsson, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +46 31 59 65 25
One vision. Different ways
Volvo Car Corporation offers a wide selection of vehicles that can be run on renewable fuels. By tradition we develop safe solutions to make a difference here and now. Get acquainted with our safety systems and environmental car range in Paris, June 8-12.
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