Volvo has long been known for pioneering innovative safety kit and it is currently working towards the goal of ensuring that no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
The latest step in the Swedish company’s ‘Vision 2020’ strategy is testing its models at the world’s first full-scale proving ground for traffic safety. This ‘AstaZero’ site will help Volvo work towards a crash-free future by helping to develop new active safety systems, which will help to prevent accidents in the first place.
Volvo claims that this facility has a design which allows the construction of many customisable road environments. Pether Wallin, CEO of AstaZero said: “You can simulate all types of real-world traffic scenarios. At most proving grounds, the options are more limited.”
This £44 million safety centre will let Volvo replicate a wide array of conditions from busy city roads, to country lanes, multi-lane motorways and junctions. The company claims that this will let them precisely study the way that cars interact with moving obstacles such as other vehicles, pedestrians, bikers, cyclists and even animals that may appear. Some of these tests will also involve robots operating the test cars.
The facility will play several important roles: not only will it help us meet our safety vision, developing cars that don’t crash, it will also help us further develop safety functions that will address non-motorists, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
“Safety testing under realistic circumstances is a prerequisite for developing our active safety systems,” says Anders Axelson of Volvo Cars Safety Centre. He continues: “The facility will play several important roles: not only will it help us meet our safety vision, developing cars that don’t crash, it will also help us further develop safety functions that will address non-motorists, such as pedestrians and cyclists.”
More than this, Volvo will also use the AstaZero site to develop and test autonomous car technology. Volvo will be working alongside universities and industry partners at this new proving ground located close to Volvo Cars’ headquarters in western Sweden.
Anders Axelson added: “The Swedish automotive industry is at the leading edge of active safety. Thanks to AstaZero, we have great prospects for keeping our leading position.
“We’re the only car manufacturing company in the world to have set a goal of zero traffic fatalities for a specific date, and we’re the only country in the world whose government supports a zero traffic fatalities vision.”
Read our article on the safety equipment helping Volvo work towards its Vision 2020 safety strategy.