Automakers are held to some stringent crashworthiness and safety standards these days and it’s common for new vehicles to hit the market with an extensive selection of driver-assistance systems and safety features as standard fare. Volvo has for a long time been at the forefront of automotive safety engineering and innovation and has imparted an extensive list of some really prominent car-related protection systems to the world. Staying true to their consequential reputation for safety and reliability, every single one of Volvo’s SUVs, sedans, and wagons, have earned consummate safety ratings in their global and national accredited evaluations.
While not the most popular brand in the USA, more and more Americans are starting to review the Volvo XC60 crossover SUV as a highly favorable pick, which has subsequently become the Swedish automaker’s best-selling vehicle with sales continuing to rise. Automotive safety has always been an imperative factor within the automotive industry and with more people prioritising family and safety these days, Volvo’s contribution to the safety of vehicles and its lead in the industry in this regard has become more important than ever. For this reason, we look back at Volvo’s portfolio of vehicle safety innovations over the years:
Volvo’s Safety Innovations and Milestones
Here we list just eight of the Swedish automakers major car safety innovations and milestones:
- Three-Point Safety Belt – In the 1950’s, a Volvo engineer by the name of Nils Bohlin invented and patented the three-point safety belt that we still use in every vehicle today, barring some high-performance vehicles which typically use more complex harnesses. In 1959, Volvo decided that in the interest of human and automotive safety, the patent be opened and made available to all automotive brands for free, earning the Swedish brand a mark of respect and changing the way we commute forever.
- Rear-Facing Child Seat – Jump forward to 1964 and the world witnesses Volvo develop the first-ever rear-facing child seat which was inspired by the astronaut seats used in rocket ships. They proved to be a considerable improvement over the old forward-facing child seats, if they can even be referred to as seats. It’s currently mandatory for any child under the age of two years old to be restrained in a rear-facing child seat when travelling in a car.
- Side Impact Protection System – Volvo, for its 700, 800, and 850 series of cars in 1991, introduced the first side impact protection system (SIPS). This system was designed to mitigate the damage and potential for injury in the event of a side collision by having the force of the impact absorbed into the honeycomb-constructed materials within the doors, reinforced B-pillar, and lower door sills. The SIPS was initially an optional extra but soon became standard fare in all of Volvo’s models.
- Middle Rear Seat Safety Belt – In 1991, Volvo applied the three-point safety belt to the middle rear seat in its 960 and integrated a child safety cushion in the armrest.
- Side Airbags – To complement their SIPS, Volvo introduced side airbags in 1994 for the front cabin which deployed in the event of a side collision to protect the driver and front passengers torso’s from hitting the cars interior walls. In 1998, these evolved into the side curtain airbags that provide protection for both front and back seat occupants and deploys from the headline to protect occupants heads. We still utilize these today.
- Whiplash Protection System – Focusing on the front seats, Volvo managed to come up with cleverly designed headrests and seats that would provide better and more uniform support. These developments were introduced in 1998 to help reduce the chances of whiplash in the event of a low-speed collision.
- Blind Spot Information System – In 2004, Volvo introduced its BLIS to its vehicles which used side-view-mirror-mounted cameras to detect other cars in the side-rear blind spots and subsequently alert the driver with a visual light-warning.
- Door Mounted Inflatable SIPS for Convertibles – Finally, come 2005, Volvo found a way to integrate extra stiff door-mounted inflatable side curtains into convertibles, the first of its kind.
Volvo’s Current Range
Volvo is continuously enhancing and altering its vehicles to not just keep up with current competition and standards, but to surpass them. With just how much Volvo has contributed to the automotive industry and with just how renowned its vehicles have become for safety, maybe you’ve been convinced to purchase one of your own. Well, there’s a really good premium selection to choose from, all sporting sophisticated aesthetics, modern interiors, and, of course, oodles of creature comforts, conveniences, and technologies including advanced driver-assists and active safety systems. Within each line are phenomenal engine options, various body and seating configurations, and you won’t be missing out even opting for a base model.
- Volvo C30
- Volvo C40 Recharge
- Volvo C70 Convertible
- Volvo S40
- Volvo S60
- Volvo S80
- Volvo S90
- Volvo V50
- Volvo V60
- Volvo V70