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Volvo made a statement quite some time ago that it was aiming for zero fatalities in its new vehicles by 2020. And the brand is on track to achieve that goal.

That’s according to Volvo Cars Safety Centre acting senior director, Jan Ivarsson. In an exclusive interview at the 2016 New York motor show, the Swedish safety guru made it clear that the goal is achievable, and technology is how it can happen.

“It’s a vision, talking about fatalities and serious injuries by 2020 we should have no-one killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car. That is our vision forward,” Ivarsson said.

“We put this together in 2007-2008, and it was also communicated outside the company, and this is very precise and easy to understand direction.

“In the beginning it was a lot of fuss about it, in terms of, you know, how can you do it? But we needed to refresh our leadership – being number one over the years, you need to do something different,” he said.


Ivarsson made it clear that such a goal is not something that can be taken lightly, and suggested that it had put a strain on the business to achieve the goal.

“This was launched by management, and it has been the guiding direction for all of us, from Hakan Samuelsson (Volvo Cars CEO) down to the guys doing the drawings. So that is very challenging, of course,” he said. “As you know we are working in that direction, we have a lot of research in place that will support it.

“We have customer data from collision avoidance, and normal driving and for crashes as well. Now we are deploying over the years, year by year, we are introducing new functions like we’ve done with XC90,” he said of the advanced safety tech that is offered as part of the large SUV.


A lot of the safety items are still optional, though.

“We’ve put in collision avoidance at a high level, we have the dangerous left turn detection, which was a world first. In S90 we have run off-road mitigation: that is, the car will keep the so-called electronics if it’s bound to go off road. It’s a very dangerous situation: it will turn and brake somewhat, and the car will come back to the lane.

“We also introduced Pilot Assist in our cars, and that is having more safe lateral position and also relieve the work load on the driver both in the lateral in the longitudinal directions, so you have less collisions, less injuries and you will have less drifting off road and in the other direction, in the course of traffic.

“We will launch more and more technologies to reach our mission,” he said.