Volvo aiming for a crash-free future with new facility

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 09:14
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The AstaZero city simulator

Volvo hope that their use of AstaZero will help them realise their vision that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.

AstaZero, the world’s first full-scale proving ground for future traffic safety solutions, is a joint project between SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology.

The centre can accommodate a wide range of test conditions, such as those found on busy city roads, highways, multi-lane motorways and crossroads. These conditions are crucial for studying the way cars interact with moving obstacles such as other cars, pedestrians, cycles, mopeds, motorcycles, trucks, buses and even animals that suddenly appear. This flexibility will prove to be massively useful to Volvo in their development of active safety systems.

“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.”

‪The work at AstaZero will also include the development and testing of autonomous driving technology, an intelligent driver support system designed to reduce accidents while improving the driving experience. Advanced systems are also under progress to further help prevent, for example, inattentiveness and driver fatigue.

Although meeting their target date of 2020 may be an ambitious goal, Volvo Cars has every reason to be optimistic. Indeed, as their innovative safety solutions have already shown, the future may not be that far off.

Anders Axelson, for one, is confident: “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.”

A full slideshow and further information on the AstaZero site can be viewed HERE

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