Volvo Cars reflects on the fact that it has been a forerunner in the field of safety for decades. The knowledge gained is now also available in a digital database that can be consulted by anyone. Volvo expresses the expectation that other car manufacturers will also use this knowledge with the aim of safer traffic for all road users. The digital database symbolizes Volvo's business philosophy to improve road safety by sharing knowledge. The online database will become available in the year that Volvo's most important shared safety innovation, the three-point belt, is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Volvo introduced the three-point seat belt designed by Nils Bohlin in 1959. Since then, the invention has estimated to have saved more than a million lives. Not only in Volvo cars, but also in countless other cars. This is due to the fact that Volvo has decided to share the invention with other manufacturers, with the aim of increasing road safety. Since then, Volvo has regularly outweighed the social interest than financial gain.
Volvo already announced the crumple zones in 1944. And during the past sixty years, Volvo introduced a number of innovations, which can safely be seen as safety markers. After the three-point safety belts, Volvo introduced a softly padded dashboard, the Swedes presented the prototype of the first reversed child seat, the two-circuit braking system and innovated a host of other safety features. Rear seatbelts, warning systems for passengers not wearing seatbelts, improved wrinkle zones, reinforced side doors: it is only a small selection of developments that Volvo had a major influence on. In addition, the Scandinavians came in 1972 with the Volvo Experimental Safety Car (VESC), actually a mobile safety laboratory that benefited from the 1974 debuting Volvo 240, among other things.
To emphasize that the tradition of sharing goes beyond patents and products, Volvo Cars is now launching Project EVA. The initiative embodies sixty years of research into the safety of cars, but at the same time shows that inequality in safety development is a fundamental problem. Volvo collected data from tens of thousands of real accidents. "On the basis of which we have made our cars as safe as possible for real traffic," says Lotta Jakobsson, professor and senior technical specialist at the Volvo Cars Safety Center. “This means that our cars have been developed with the aim of protecting all people regardless of gender, height, build or weight. That goes further than 'the average person' who represents the crash test dummy. ”
Based on these studies and the self-collected crash data, Volvo Cars created virtual crash dummies. This has helped to better understand such accidents and to develop technologies that protect women and men equally well. The first result was the introduction of the WHIPS whiplash protection in 1998. WHIPS has contributed to the unique look of Volvo's seats and headrests. The idea of prioritizing social progress still drives safety development at Volvo Cars. It not only develops new technology to meet safety standards or to pass prescribed tests, but because the accurate analysis of its own research data shows where safety can be further improved.
In the 1980s, Volvo focused on side collisions, after the research data showed that many people were injured by the limited space between impact and occupants. This resulted in various innovations in the 1990s, such as the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), side airbags and curtain airbags. All these innovations are based on Volvo's research data and now form an industry standard.
Further analysis and study ensured that Volvo now pays extra attention to accidents in which the car gets off the road. The technology that has emerged from this is an energy-absorbing component in the chair, the effect of which goes far beyond the legislation. Research has also been carried out into lower back injuries and the way in which the damage to this specific body part can be limited in the event of a serious accident. In addition, numerous adaptive safety systems, blind spot systems (BLIS) and pedestrian protection are issues that Volvo Cars has made progress in the past fifteen years.