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Volvo vows to end car fatalities by 2020


Volvo is a brand known for safety and now they are making a bold claim: their design will be so flawless by 2020 that no one will die in their cars ever again.

Volvo continues their safety legacy

Technology seems to be improving every single day. From 360 video to better safety features, technology is playing an important role in our daily lives. Our cars are no exception. The innovation of advanced safety features like roll over stability control, back up cameras, advanced air bag deployment, and even air brake systems, all do their part in making our driving experiences more safe and secure.

Volvo wants to take this features one step further. Known for their innovations in safety and design, Volvo has boldly stated that by 2020 no one will be killed in a Volvo car or SUV. Of course there are always things you cannot plan for: drunk driving, insane stunts, and general human error, but outside of this, Volvo has promised to keep you safe while driving.

A big, bold statement

According to CNN, Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars, North America, states,“if you meet Swedish engineers, they’re pretty genuine. They don’t say things when they don’t believe in it.” This way seem like a bold statement (and it is), however according to the Insurance Institure for Highway Safety, there are already nine vehicle models in which no one in the U.S has died in the last four years. Amazing, right? The Volvo XC90 is among those vehicles.

Emergency crash systems, like automatic braking, have reduced head-on and rear-end crashes significantly (up to 14% according to the Institute for Highway Safety). Approximately 20% of automobile models carry the auto-braking feature and this number is expected to increase. A sensor and camera mounted to the front of the vehicle can detect other cars, pedestrians, animals, and large debris; sending a signal to the car to begin the automatic braking procedure.

More plans for an autonomous car

This is not the only technology Volvo plans to implement, however; Volvo plans to continue develop for the fully autonomous car. “With the development of full autonomy, we are going to push the limits of automotive safety because if you make a fully autonomous vehicle you have to think through everything that potentially can happen with a car,” states Volvo safety engineer Erik Coelingh.

A few of the things they are considering integrating into the autonomous care are: adaptive cruise control, auto lane keeping assist, collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, and large animal detection. Adaptive cruise control uses radar and other sensors to detect vehicles on the road ahead. Just like manual cruise control, you set a maximum speed and your car will maintain a safe following distance by itself (operating the gas and brake).

Safety improves as tech improves

Auto lane keeping assist is pretty self-explanatory: cameras detect the lane and help to keep you there. Collision avoidance is what we touched on above: radar and camera detect obstacles and let you know about them (auto-braking, for instance). Pedestrian and large animal detection works in the same manner: obstructions and potential dangers are detected and then the car will help you avoid them.

As technology advances, so does safety. If all of these features can be effectively integrated in Volvo’s 2020 prototype, it may set the standard for other brands in the automotive industry. It also begs the question: if technology and safety are advancing in the automotive industry, what will be next?


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