Volvo is working on integrating all of a car's safety sensors to give it a complete 360-degree view of its surroundings, which will in turn allow it to plot a collision-free way out of trouble.

360-degree view system from Volvo

The Swedish automaker hopes that these new developments will help it meet an important safety target that it has set for itself, namely that by 2020 no-one inside in a new Volvo model will be killed or seriously injured.

Many of today's new vehicles feature a plethora of sensors, such as radar, lidar, cameras and GPS, which help to power various safety systems, either individually or in some combination.

No company, though, has yet launched a production vehicle that uses all these sensors together to generate a holistic view of its environment and detect any possible dangers. Volvo and its collaborators in the Non-Hit Car and Truck project, which is due to wrap up at the end of this year, are looking to change that.

A manoeuvre generator, which is also under development, will use that 360-degree world view, as well as the automated steering and braking systems, to plan and guide the car along an accident-free path out of danger.

Two prototype vehicles fitted with both the 360-degree view and manoeuvre generator systems have been built so far, but Volvo isn't saying how far away this technology is from being ready for the real world.