Volvo: Strengths and weaknesses in engineering – 2 – safety

In the articles before, as I refer to for several times, “safety” is a quite significant word for Volvo Cars. Actually, Volvo’s strengths in safety are not only researching the advanced technology in engineering, but also the creative thinking about how to secure people’s future lives. Thus, safety security is both passive defense methods and active driving-style creators.

By 2020, our aim is that nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo. In the longer perspective our vision is that cars should not crash at all. (, n.d.)

This is from the official press of Volvo Cars. Even for a company as highly regarded for its automotive safety as Volvo, that’s an almost unthinkable task. However, Volvo is still making good efforts to strive for this unbelievable goal in various aspects. What’s more, Volvo points out this goal will be divided into six different parts and is ready to show off its next wave of safety innovations. Most of the new features use the same camera and radar systems and the majority of them are already available (Milne, 2013).

Volvo’s Pedestrian Detection in Darkness System:

Volvo already offers a pedestrian detection system on some of its new cars, but the auto maker will take that technology a step further with the launch of a new Pedestrian Detection in Darkness system next year. The system relies on a more sensitive camera and updated software to help recognize objects that might get lost in the dark. If something is detected in the vehicle’s path, such as a person crossing the road, the Pedestrian Detection in Darkness system gives the driver both audible and visual warnings.

Volvo’s Road Edge and Barrier Detection With Steer Assist System:

Road Edge and Barrier Detection with Steer Assist Statistics show that half of all serious accidents in the United States involve a vehicle leaving the road (Johnson, 2013), which is why Volvo is aiming to avoid that type of crash with its Road Edge and Barrier Detection with Steer Assist. This system uses a combination of radar-and-camera-based technologies to detect when a vehicle is getting too close to the edge of the road or a barrier like a guard rail.

Volvo’s Adaptive Cruise Control With Steer Assist System:

Intended for use in traffic jam situations or high-speed situations, Adaptive Cruise Control with Steer Assist uses the car’s sensing equipment to follow the car ahead. Depending on the system, the vehicle can brake, accelerate and even navigate around moderate curves automatically. If no other car is present, the system can rely on lane markings or even the road edge as oriented markers.

Volvo’s Animal Detection system:

Every year in Sweden a staggering 6,000 vehicle collisions involving moose are reported. In a collision, the legs fail to activate a car’s crumple zones, all of its mass is typically delivered to the vehicle’s windshield area, which is one of the most sensitive sections of a car. So the full force of the collision is borne by the A-pillars. The system reacts to potential dangers in 500 milliseconds and will slow the car to ensure that the A-pillars can sufficiently protect the cabin.

Volvo’s Car 2 Car Communication System:

Using the cellular network, Volvo’s Car 2 Car systems allows its vehicles to “talk” to each other. For instance, if there is a vehicle driving a few hundred yards ahead, Car 2 Car will relay that information to trailing cars via audible and visual warnings in case of those emergency situations, such as sudden braking. In addition, Volvo has also include a traffic light function into its Car 2 Car system in order to improve the traffic efficiency.

Volvo’s Autonomous Parking System:

To start the Autonomous Parking system, a driver needs to park in a certain location, and activate the ‘park’ function. From there, the vehicle ranges the parking lot on its own, using its on-board camera and radar not only to guide itself, but also to find an open spot. Once the vehicle finds a suitable location, it backs in and shuts itself off.


In summary, with all the innovations in safety, Volvo is really ambitious to realize its unthinkable statement about 2020. Although someone will feel that it is too far away from the public, Volvo has taken the majority of these technologies into physical experiment processes successfully. On the basis of Volvo’s historic brand image and powerful engineering background, I think all the fantastic dreams are coming soon.

Bibliography: n.d. Safety at Volvo Cars. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 12 Dec 2013].

Milne, S. 2013. Volvo reveals host of new safety tech | Autocar. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 12 Dec 2013].

Johnson, D. 2013. A 360 degree tour of Volvo’s safety tech. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 12 Dec 2013].

Padeanu, A. 2013. 2015 Volvo XC90 safety tech previewed . [online] Available at: [Accessed: 12 Dec 2013].


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