Jan Ivarsson, Volvo Cars senior technical advisor for safety, clarified to Australian media in Gothenburg this week that the radical statement embodied by the company from the top down was a vision, but not a target per se.
“It’s a very firm vision to the future, it’s not a target, it’s a vision,” he said. “A very firm direction for the company [that] everyone knows.
“We have targets on every car we deliver, we have challenging targets. But (Vision 2020) is not a target, it’s a way of thinking.”
In other words, Volvo is simply acknowledging that it can’t control every little thing its owners may do, and cannot possibly cover all eventualities. The world "should" also appears to be a key.
Still, the idea that nobody will die in its vehicles is feasible. Volvo’s data shows that 30 years ago, the risk of being seriously injured in an accident in one of its cars was 10 per cent, and that this was reduced to 2 per cent 10 years ago.
Considering the rollout of partial autonomous and preventative technologies, as well as much tougher passenger cells with up to 40 per cent Boron steel, since then, it’s obvious this figure has dropped further.
By 2020, Volvo will have autonomous cars on sale, though it stops short of calling them ‘driverless’ because humans will be to take control at times.
As you can read here, the company has also taken the bold step of saying it will take full legal liability for its autopilot technology in future, exculpating the owner from blame if they’re following laid-out guidelines.