Volvo: Uncrashable Car By 2020
Volvo's set itself a lofty, laudable goal: banishing all deaths and injuries from Volvo vehicles by 2020. That's right, the company that invented three-point seat belts, crumple zones and side-impact airbags is looking to recapture it's lost Grim Reaper-aversive mojo. Reuters reports the main development upon which Volvo is banking: a radar/sonar system which provides early-warning information (to the car) so that it (the car) brake and/or steer out of trouble, reducing impact speed to about 10mph. Volvo's long-term goal: building an "uncrashable car." As Volvo safety team leader Jan Ivarsson says, "We as a community will not accept that we have injuries."At least not in Volvos. PC pollyanna utopianism aside, why would Ford dump a ton of money into Volvo's safety rep if it's trying to sell the Swedish safety swamis? Unless, of course, this is just a "buy us please" PR exercise. Perish the– I mean, as if.
I think it's great. Building a brand should include the vision thing. If you have sensible and realistic goals, and you stick to them, you gain respect. Good companies command respect, and good brands do too. Aiming for best safety is 100% complementary to the Volvo brand. Is Volvo's goal realistic? Remember folks, they are talking about an uncrashable car. Not about a car that can't be smashed by a train, a truck, or a Hummer. The uncrashable car concept implies using electronics to severely limit a car's speed in dangerous situations. To be effective, it would require monumental IT power and considerable development finesse. You can't employ a clumsy system that people would override. Building products is about setting priorities. By setting this priority, Volvo is saying they are spending scarce resources on safety -- and not, for instance, on developing retro muscle cars. A wise decision, I say.
All of the oldsters that jump curbs in their Buicks and run down pedestrians would be (initially) the prime target of such tech. As for the rest of us; "Where's the "off" switch?"
so . . . . we can turn this system off when we want to autocross our mom's turbo station wagon?
@ Kman Thanks!