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Figures prove Volvo's safety tech

Volvo vs Volvia: Swedish insurers Volvia and If provided information for a study that puts a figure on the effect of vehicle safety systems.

Insurance study reveals effectiveness of Volvo collision avoidance systems

12 Jun 2015

VOLVO has completed a comprehensive investigation into the performance of crash-mitigation systems, revealing that 28 per cent fewer nose-to-tail insurance claims have been filed with Swedish brokers since the introduction of the technology.

Two of the country's largest insurance providers Volvia and If submitted data for the study, which looked at information regarding all car crashes and not just those resulting in injuries, as provided by emergency service figures.

Incidents in which passengers are injured are less frequent than those which result in only vehicle damage, and by looking at all potentially avoidable crashes, the true effectiveness of the self-braking technology has been highlighted.

The results show the number of insurance claims involving nose-to-tail collisions has fallen by almost a third, with an associated reduction in personal injuries too – a result Volvo is attributing to systems including its City Safety feature.

“Volvo Cars launched its first collision avoidance technology in 2006,” said Volvo Cars technical expert and traffic safety data analyst Magdalena Lindman.

“City Safety was introduced as standard in all new Volvo car models from 2008.

Since then we’ve been monitoring the performance of our collision-avoidance systems in Volvo Cars throughout Sweden, where we have a 20 per cent market share.

“This is a very strong statistical sample to base findings on, as every fifth car on the road in Sweden is a Volvo.”

About 160,000 vehicle years were analysed in the study which covered all vehicle brands, many of which now also offer autonomous braking technology.

In addition to the reduction in vehicle damage and relatively minor personal injuries such as whiplash, the cut in costs to insurers is being passed on to drivers of the safer models through smaller insurance premiums.

Volvo says owners of vehicles equipped with systems like its City Safety can be eligible for discounts of up to 25 per cent.

The first two generations of Volvo's technology can apply the brakes at speeds of between 30km/h and 50km/h if the driver does not respond to an imminent impact, but its newest systems are only steps away from full autonomous driving.

“We see our continuous development of collision avoidance and steering-assist systems as stepping stones towards autonomous cars,” said Ms Lindman.

“Volvo Cars is already at the forefront of autonomous car development and our huge credibility in car safety is a major advantage.

“We believe that collision avoidance systems will be an enabler for cars that do not crash and allow people the freedom to drive or be driven in comfort to their destination.”

Volvo is regarded as an automotive safety stalwart and has always marketed its products on their crash-protection merits, along with the pioneering of road-toll reduction strategies such as Vision 2020.

The goal is to eliminate death and serious injury in any Volvo on Sweden's roads by the year 2020, but beyond that, the company is setting a target to prevent any of its vehicles crashing at all.

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