Aiming for zero
Vision 2020 is one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry. It is rooted in our leadership in safety and the fact that everything we do starts with protecting the people inside and around our cars. Our aim is that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020. While we are proud of what we have achieved so far, we are not satisfied yet.
Technology that saves lives
Since our foundation in 1927, we have invented some of the most important breakthroughs in car safety. The most famous invention is the three-point safety belt introduced in 1959, estimated to have saved over a million lives since. But we did not stop there. Our cars are packed with advanced passive safety features, such as airbags, safety cages and crumple zones. In recent years, with the advance of cameras and sensors, we have added active safety features like the City Safety with Autobrake technology, which helps avoiding and mitigating accidents inside and outside the city.
All these and other safety technologies are the result of our data- and science-driven approach to technology development. We constantly collect and analyse accident data: our database contains information on tens of thousands of real-world accidents. We study them by running countless computer simulations, as well as physical crash tests at our state-of-the-art Volvo Cars Safety Centre. The insights we gain allow us to constantly develop new, world-first safety technologies and be obe of the industry leaders. We also actively share the knowledge we gather, to the benefit of society as a whole.
Three gaps to zero
While we have come a long way, there are still a few obstacles on the road to zero fatalities in our cars. More specifically, our safety experts have identified three ‘gaps to zero’ that we will address striving for our Vision 2020. And, realizing that technology alone will not get us there, we have expanded our scope to also focus on human behaviour.
- The first problem is speeding. Speed limits are in place in most western countries, yet speeding is still ubiquitous and one of the most common reasons for fatalities in traffic.
- As obvious a problem is intoxication. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in large parts of the world, yet it remains one of the prime reasons for traffic injuries and fatalities.
- The final danger area is distraction. Drivers distracted by, say, mobile phones or otherwise not fully engaged in driving are in many ways equally dangerous as drunk drivers.
To send a strong signal about the dangers of speeding, we will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180 kph from 2020. We are also looking at how smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals in future.
We will address intoxication and distraction via in-car cameras that watch over the driver. If a clearly intoxicated or distracted driver does not respond to warning signals and is risking an accident that might result in serious injury or death, the car will intervene by slowing down and parking safely.