24th July 2014

Features: Safety Firsts:Volvo XC90

Volvo Cars’ all-new, all-wheel drive, seven-seater XC90 SUV, which will be revealed in August, will include two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and auto brake at intersection capability.

Run-off road protection

Run-off road is a common accident type with different causes, such as driver distraction, fatigue or poor weather conditions. For example, half of all traffic fatalities in the United States are road departure accidents, while in Sweden, single-vehicle accidents involve one third of all fatal and severe injury crashes with passenger cars.

Even though there are currently no regulatory or rating tests to examine a car’s ability to handle run-off road accidents, Volvo has decided to develop the technology to protect occupants should these situations occur.

The Safe Positioning capability means that in a run-off road scenario, the Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts tighten to keep the occupants in position. The belts are firmly tightened as long as the car is in motion.

To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain. The solution is capable of reducing the vertical occupant forces by up to one third. This counteracts spine injuries, which are serious and relatively frequent consequences of these situations.

The XC90 also features technologies that help the driver avoid run-off road scenarios:

The Lane Keeping Aid applies extra steering torque if the car is about to leave the lane unintentionally, while Driver Alert Control, which is also standard, detects and warns tired or inattentive drivers. It even has Rest Stop Guidance, which directs the driver to the nearest rest area. 

Auto brake at intersections

The new features automatic braking if the driver turns in front of an oncoming car. This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways, where the speed limits are higher. The XC90 detects a potential crash and brakes automatically in order to avoid a collision or mitigate the consequences of a crash.


Safety features for the all-new XC90

Pre-crash protection in rear impacts

Rearward facing radars detect if a rear impact is imminent and safety belts are tightened in advance in order to keep the occupant in a good position. Lights also start flashing to warn the driver behind, and the brakes are activated to help reduce the impact on the occupants.

Together with Volvo Cars’ new seat design, which integrates the next generation of Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), this new holistic rear impact pre-crash function helps reduce whiplash injuries

Rollover prevention and protection

A standard fit on the new XC90, Volvo’s Roll Stability Control uses advanced sensors to calculate the risk of rolling over. If the risk is assessed as high, engine torque is restricted and some braking force is applied to one or more wheels to counteract the rollover tendency.

If a rollover is inevitable, the Inflatable Curtains are activated. They cover all three seat rows for an extended period of time to help prevent head injuries.

All seven seats in the XC90 have pyrotechnical safety belt pre-tensioners that also activate in rollover situations.

City Safety auto braking functions

City Safety will become the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ auto brake functions – which are standard equipment in the new XC90.

The purpose of the new collision avoidance system is to assist the driver in case there is a high risk of collision with another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist through an intuitive warning strategy and a brake support system. If a collision is almost unavoidable, the system will provide autonomous braking when the driver fails to respond to the imminent threat.

Extended Road Sign Information

Road Sign Information technology is standard on the XC90 and has been further enhanced to show an extended selection of road signs in the digital display in front of the driver, such as various types of supplementary signs.

Covers the blind spots

The Blind Spot Information System informs about vehicles in the blind spots. It also alerts the driver to vehicles that are approaching fast from behind.

Queue Assist

Queue Assist enables safe and comfortable driving by following the vehicle in front in slow-moving queues. Acceleration, braking and steering are controlled automatically.

Stronger all over

To help keep the occupant space inside intact in a crash, the all-new XC90 has literally been made stronger in every sense. This is achieved by more extensive use of hot-formed boron steel, which is the strongest type of steel presently used in the car body industry.

The complete safety cage around the occupants is made from hot-formed boron steel and is designed for maximum occupant protection in all types of crash scenarios. The hot-formed steel amounts to about 40 per cent of the total body weight.

Vision 2020

Volvo Cars’s vision is to design cars that should not crash, their short term aim is that by 2020 no one should be killed or injured in a new Volvo car.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that some 1.2 million people are killed and more than 50 million wounded in traffic accidents every year. These figures are expected to increase rapidly if no action is taken. Volvo is determined to take the lead by using its vision of a collision-free future as a guiding principle.


More Features