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How a vision can reduce insurance claims

By 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car

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In 1927, Volvo Cars’ founders said: “Cars are driven by people – the guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain safety.” Those values have never changed, and in 2008 Volvo Car Corporation set out their aim – that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car. In the longer perspective their vision is that Volvo cars should not crash at all.

Vision 2020 is bold. Several safety innovations have already drastically reduced the number of people injured or killed in Volvo cars, and the technology that is being developed strongly delivers in the direction of the vision.

Everything works together

It is the interaction between the various safety systems and functions that determines just how safe a car is. In a Volvo, safety is the result of a complete, integrated solution, where every system and component works in unison with all the others. This holistic view has from the very outset been a cornerstone of the Volvo Cars safety philosophy, and so it remains today.

Among other things, this holistic approach means that Volvo Cars’ methodology for accident research, analysis and innovation focuses on the entire sequence from normal driving to post-crash. It is also illustrated by an increasing focus on active safety and researching of driving behavior, as well as the development of new, connected and autonomous technologies.

Last but not least, another aspect of Volvo’s holistic view is that they make sure to never lose focus on the important basics – the spare parts, the service programs, the repair methods, the competence of their technicians and the quality of the labor performed in Volvo workshops. Everything works together – to help save lives, reduce injuries and decrease damage, and to bring down costs for both drivers and insurers.

Independent test results confirm the progress

Year after year, advances in safety are reducing the number of people being seriously injured or killed in Volvo cars. With the all-new XC90 and other forthcoming models, Volvo Cars is taking yet another major step forward to realizing the zero vision.

Data from independent rating institutes all over the world continuously confirm this progress. For example, the new Volvo XC90 was awarded the 2015 Top Safety Pick+ rating from the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The XC90 received a full score in all tests (crashworthiness and front crash prevention), excelling in both preventive and protective safety performance.

Volvo achieved top scores in all of the tests and was deemed superior in front crash prevention thanks to the standard City Safety technology that is fitted in all new Volvo cars. The superior rating for front crash protection makes the XC90 one of the first cars with standard equipment to receive a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ award.

The XC90 also scored top marks in recent Euro NCAP testing – further proof that XC90 is one of the safest cars on the roads today. The XC90 stood out as the first car from any manufacturer to score full points in Euro NCAP Autonomous Emergency Braking Car to Car rear-end tests (AEB City & AEB Interurban).

Cuts accident claims by 28%

One of the most comprehensive scientific studies performed on collision avoidance systems reveals that Volvo Cars’ standard City Safety low-speed automatic brake technology reduces insurance claims for rear-end frontal collisions by 28 per cent. The study is based on real-life accumulated insurance claims data from the Swedish insurers If and Volvia.

The main benefit of City Safety is its ability to reduce whiplash and other neck-related injuries caused by low-speed traffic accidents. The secondary benefit to Volvo car drivers is a reduction in accident damage to their cars and the costs that this incurs.


The figures include test results from the following test bodies:  Euro NCAP, US NCAP, China NCAP, NCAP, IIHS and Folksam

The result of knowledge combined with technology

Volvo Cars applies a knowledge-driven approach to safety – combining research on driving behavior with research on safety optimization and development. They use data from real-world collisions and rigorous research to make our cars ever safer. The Volvo Cars Traffic Accident Research team in Sweden, established in 1970, has collected accident data from more than 43,000 crashes, involving about 72,000 occupants.

They perform real life accident reconstructions in their state-of-the-art crash laboratory. Then Volvo applies this valuable data and unique knowledge when designing new Volvo cars.  Each new car is built using the knowledge gained from its predecessors – we call this process of continuous refinement and improvement the Circle of Life.

True to their heritage, Volvo will keep creating innovative safety systems that protect not only the driver and passengers within the car, but also people in the car’s surrounding.

IntelliSafe – Supports, Prevents, Protects

Volvo’s IntelliSafe technologies include a wide range of safety solutions and functions designed to offer support while driving, help to prevent accidents, and offer protection if one occurs.

City Safety, originally launched as the world’s first collision-advance system in 2008, is the umbrella term for all of Volvo Cars’ auto brake functions. The continuously enhanced collision-avoidance and mitigation technologies, which are standard in the XC90, include yet another Volvo world first: automatic braking if the driver turns in front of an oncoming vehicle.   City Safety is based on a combined camera and radar unit integrated at the top of the windscreen, in front of the interior rear-view mirror. Day and night, it can help avoid or mitigate collisions with other cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

Examples of other standard IntelliSafe technologies include Driver Alert Control, Lane Departure Warning, Road Sign Information, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter.

Holistic approach in five phases


Good visibility, good comfort, effective brakes, good steering capability, chassis and engine lay the foundation for making driving safe and comfortable. To further help the driver maintain focus on the road, Volvo Cars has developed a range of technologies. Some examples:

  • Pilot Assist
  • Driver Alert Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keeping Aid
  • Road Sign Information
  • Distance Alert
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Cross Traffic Alert
  • Active High Beam with LED headlights
  • Active High Beam with halogen headlights
  • Active Bending Lights
  • Cornering Lights
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Park Assist Pilot
  • Park Assist Camera
  • Visual Park Assist



When a critical situation is imminent, preventive safety functions can step in to stabilize the car or alert the driver. Examples:

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Roll Stability Control
  • Collision Warning
  • Rear Collision Warning
  • Emergency Brake Lamps
  • Trailer Stability Assist



When an accident is about to happen, Volvo’s preventive safety functions can step in and respond if the driver can no longer avoid the collision on his or her own.

  • City Safety. Detects, warns the driver and/or brakes automatically in certain situations for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, both day and night.
  • Rear Collision Warning
  • Brake assist



When a collision is unavoidable, it is important to help protect the occupants and reduce the risk of injuries. Examples of protective technologies:

  • Reduction of impact speed
  • Deformation zones
  • Lower cross-member that helps protect lower cars
  • Energy-absorbing front
  • Safety belt pre-tensioners
  • Side Impact Protection System
  • Safe Positioning/Run-off road protection
  • Second-generation Whiplash
  • Protection System (WHIPS)
  • Brake pedal release
  • Laminated windows
  • Integrated booster cushion
  • Three-point safety belt
  • Airbags



Volvo Cars co-operates with the emergency services to optimize the rescue operation after a collision.

  • Volvo On Call automatic collision alert and emergency support
  • Post impact braking

Preserved safety benefits everyone

It is obvious that the retained function of the safety systems in Volvo cars will bring benefits for both the Volvo driver, Volvo Cars as a company and insurance companies. Collisions can be avoided or mitigated thanks to detection, warning and autonomous braking systems, and the risk for accidents will be reduced thanks to enhanced driver support offering various kinds of information and warnings.

There will be less personal injuries and less damage to property and the reduced claim frequency will bring down the costs for insurance companies. This can in the long-term lead to lower premiums and reduced cost of ownership for the customer.

For Volvo Cars, it is essential that Volvo owners always have access to safe, guaranteed repair to Volvo standards. It is important for us to know that Volvo owners get Volvo Genuine Parts, installed using the right methods. And that they can be sure that the whole process is carried out according to Volvo’s high standards, so that they can continue to rely on the superior safety of their car.

Because even if Volvo’s safety vision about new Volvo cars in 2020, the care and concern for people’s safety that it expresses always extends far beyond the delivery of a new car from the factory to the customer. Naturally, Volvo wants their cars to stay safe throughout their entire lifecycle. They have a responsibility to make sure that Volvo cars are maintained according to the recommended service program and that their properties are not changed in ways that compromise safety. This is in the interest of Volvo drivers, Volvo dealers, Volvo Cars as a company, as well as insurers of Volvo cars. That safety is preserved will always benefit everyone.




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