Volvo Aims to Build “Death Proof” Cars by 2020

Sun, 3/4/2018 - 2:22 pm by Kirsten Rincon

volvoWhen it comes to car safety, Volvo has been the leading brand for decades now. The Swedish car maker has introduced numerous safety innovations in the past – including features that are now a staple on all vehicles, such as the three-point safety belt, the rear-facing child car safety seat, and side-impact airbags – and continues to be at the forefront of automotive safety today.

A couple of years ago, Volvo pledged to eliminate fatalities in its cars by 2020, and it keeps working very hard on achieving this goal. In line with this mission, Volvo has now announced that it will build a “Death Proof” car by the end of decade, a statement that many industry observers consider to be very bold, to say the least.

But, the company’s CEO has reassured the public that this is not an impossible feat for Volvo. “If you meet Swedish engineers, they’re pretty genuine,” said Lex Kerssemakers,CEOof Volvo Cars North America. “They don’t say things when they don’t believe in it.”

Using Autonomous Driving Technology to Prevent Accidents

Volvo, like many other automakers, along with tech companies, is working on self-driving technology, which is aimed at preventing crashes by reducing the risk of human error, which is the leading factor behind most motor vehicle accidents.

The automaker has already implemented numerous advanced driver assistance systems in most of its models, and will continue to raise the autonomy level of its vehicles, aiming to reach full autonomy in a couple of years.

Some of the more popular autonomous driving features that can be currently found in Volvo’s cars include: collision avoidance, pedestrian and large animal detection, adaptive cruise control, and automatic lane-keeping assist.

With these systems, cars are able to operate on their own in various traffic situations and adapt to different road conditions, without any input from a human driver. By taking control over the vehicle from the driver and giving it to self-driving software, Volvo believes that cars can protect their occupants in most potentially life-threatening situations.

Autonomous driving technology can help eliminate the risk of accident caused by different types of risky driving behaviors, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or distracted driving. When all this is taken into account, a death-proof car doesn’t seem to be too far from becoming a reality.

On top of that, Volvo thinks about the safety of other road users, as well. It has developed a pedestrian airbag, that is designed to prevent pedestrians from getting injured in case they get hit by a car.

Excellent Track Record Already

Volvo is no stranger to cars with zero fatality rates. According to a recent study by Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the Volvo XC90 4WD is one of the nine models that had zero accidents resulting in a fatality between 2009 and 2012, so if there is anyone that knows how to build a death-proof car, it’s the Swedish automaker.