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Hans Nyth has been appointed the new Director of Volvo Cars Safety Centre, the most advanced facility of its kind. Since joining Volvo Car Corporation in 1972, Nyth has built up a solid 35-year background at Volvo, with extensive experience from producing cars and design within Manufacturing Engineering, Body and Painted Body at Research and Development.


Commenting on his new position, Nyth said: "Realising our vision - that no one should be killed or injured in a Volvo by the year 2020 - requires a continued holistic approach to safety. Our priorities are concentrated on three areas: people, the infrastructure and the car itself."


"Volvo Cars' work with safety has echoed round the world. In order to retain a leading position with respect to safety, it will remain essential in future to base our work in this area on know-how and our own rigorous safety requirements and to use the right technology to support the driver in various traffic situations," Nyth continues.  


With focus on people, Volvo Cars' Accident Research Team has compiled data from actual traffic accidents since 1970 and now has a database containing information about more than 36,000 traffic accidents involving over 60,000 Volvo cars. Knowledge gained from real-life traffic accidents and what happens before, during and after an accident is our base and gives us a foundation as well as creating a unique opportunity to reconstruct the chain of events in a traffic accident in the crash test lab. Safety at Volvo Cars encompasses continuous collaboration between designers, technicians and a number of external partners.


Approximately 400 full-scale tests a year

The crash test lab offers infinite opportunities to vary testing conditions and to conduct reconstructions of collisions from actual traffic situations.

There are two test tracks that are 108 and 154 metres (354/505 feet) long respectively. One of them is moveable and can be positioned between 0-90 degrees to test the course of different accidents at various angles and speeds, for example, a crash between two cars that are in motion. In the crash test lab, an enormous mobile collision barrier is also used that can be moved with the help of a hydraulic lifting system with air cushions. This barrier is used for testing various frontal collisions, side impacts and rear-end collisions. However, buses and trucks can also be crash-tested against the barrier. During crash tests, both the cars and the barrier are fitted with sensors in order to register the entire chain of events.


On the fixed track, passenger cars can be crashed at speeds up to 75 mph and outside, roll-over tests can also be conducted. There is a large outdoor area adjacent to the building where different types of full-scale traffic environments can be constructed.

Some 400 full-scale tests are conducted each year. They are all filmed from a number of different angles using digital, high-speed cameras. Several of the cameras are mounted at a height of 11 meters (36 feet) and others film the accident from inside the car and from below through extremely thick glass.


The latest technology in the Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 is the safest Volvo ever and contains all of the latest technology that Volvo Cars can offer in terms of protective and preventive safety. This includes a two-stage integrated booster cushion with a force limiting safety belt, City Safety, the Driver Alert System and the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS). Approximately 120 XC60s had "made the supreme sacrifice" in the lab before this model was launched in 2008. The car has also been virtually crashed several thousand times.


Several of the XC60 crashes have had an audience. The Volvo Cars Safety Centre has room for 200 people to observe the tests, which are guaranteed to be a thrilling experience.



Present position: Director Volvo Cars Safety Centre, Volvo Car Corporation

Joined Volvo Car Corporation: 1972

Born: 31 March, 1952

Education: 4-year Upper Secondary Technical School, Göteborg, Sweden 1972

Previous positions:
2005-2008 Manger Body Structures & Exterior Engineering, Ford of Europe, Germany
2000-2005 Director Body Structures Engineering, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden
1996-2000 Module Team Leader Surface Treatment & Body Structure Engineering, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden
1992-1996 Manager Surface Treatment Engineering, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden
1989-1992 Manager Surface Treatment, Manufacturing Engineering, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden
1983-1989 Project Manager Manufacturing Engineering, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden
1978-1983 Surface Treatment Engineer, Body Structures, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden


Hans Nyth has more than 35 years of experience from Volvo Cars and he has held a number of senior Project and Manager positions within Manufacturing Engineering, Body and Painted Body at Research and Development.


Prior to his current position he was manager of Body Structures & Exterior Engineering, Ford of Europe, from 2005 to 2008. During his assignment at Ford he was involved in the development of the new Galaxy/S-Max, the Mondeo and the new Transit range as well as various Fiesta and Focus programmes.



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