Volvo Cars’ new City Safety system, which will debut on the new XC60, has won the Technology category at the Fleet World Honours Awards 2008 in London, its first U.K. award.
Volvo Cars’ new City Safety system, which will debut on the new XC60, has won the Technology category at the Fleet World Honours Awards 2008 in London, its first U.K. award.. Click image to enlarge

Göteborg, Sweden – Volvo Car Corporation has outlined several safety features that it will be incorporating into its vehicles in future; the company said that it “envisions no one killed or injured in a Volvo vehicle in the year 2020.”

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1.2 million people are killed and more than 50 million wounded in automobile collisions every year. “We don’t accept that people lose their lives in airplane accidents, so why should we regard traffic collisions as inevitable?” said Jan Ivarsson, head of Safety Strategy at Volvo Cars. “Continuous research and enhancement of safety in and around our vehicles will be essential for achieving a safer driver environment and a collision-free future. In this aim, we invite fruitful cooperation with authorities and the automotive industry.”

Since its formation in 1970, the Volvo Cars Accident Research Team has investigated more than 36,000 collisions involving Volvo vehicles and has filled a database with information about the crashed cars to evaluate existing safety systems and the need for updates or new systems. The company said it has created a path to a collision-free traffic environment, consisting of five phases, including normal driving, conflict, avoidance, damage reduction and post-collision, each offering an opportunity to improve safety.

The company said that it follows the principle that the driver “should always be in command,” and that it is not until the driver fails to react and a collision is imminent or unavoidable that the vehicle autonomously engages systems, such as the brakes, to potentially avoid or minimize the effects of a collision. Volvo also plans to introduce safety technologies in the near future that make it possible to detect and auto-brake for pedestrians, or even auto-steer away from oncoming vehicles.

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