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Volvo aims for 'no-death' new cars by 2020

Published: 04 Dec 2012 07:24 GMT+01:00

Volvo, which is owned by China's Geely group, is currently developing cars that drive themselves and plans to launch a first model in 2014 that can drive at 50 kilometres per hour.

"Our vision is that no one is killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020," Anders Eugensson, Volvo's head of government affairs, told the Wall Street Journal.

According to the newspaper, Volvo has tested the prototypes on "thousands of miles of test drives on public roads in Spain and on the company's test track in western Sweden."

"The car of the future will be just like the farmer's horse. The farmer can steer the horse and carriage but if he falls asleep the horse can still (get) back home. And if the farmer tries to steer the carriage against a tree or off a cliff, the horse will refuse," Eugensson said.

Volvo refused to comment on how much they were investing in the project.

The news came as the company announced its total investments for the period 2011-2015 would amount to $11 billion of which a third would go toward the renovation and expansion of its facilities in Sweden.

An undisclosed sum would also go toward developing a new, more fuel-efficient four cylinder engine.

US internet search engine Google has also been testing its own prototype of a self-driving car since 2010.

Volvo Car Corporation is a separate entity from the Volvo Group, the maker of trucks, buses and construction machinery, since the auto company was sold to Ford in 1999. It was sold to Geely in 2010.

AFP/The Local

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Your comments about this article

08:57 December 4, 2012 by smilingjack
we have seen speed limits wiped in australia. 100kph zones became 90 then 80 and then 70.

for a country with virtually no rail and vast distances to be covered its absurd.

I can see the only way these claims can be made is with a magnetic type buffer zone enforced around all vehicles and speed capped. something like minority report. the way of the future
13:03 December 4, 2012 by EtoileBrilliant
"Our vision is that no one is killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020"

Small detail but what about third parties OUTSIDE your new Volvo. Therein lies the problem, as passenger related deaths fall, so they are offset by the rise in deaths in other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and god forbid, other motorists.

Today's car designers cocoon drivers from the real risks by sound proofing and adding extra safety features leading drivers to believe they can push the limit more and more.

What is needed in-built limiters that cut the speed of drivers/log and report infringements.
00:56 December 5, 2012 by jmclewis
How can Darwinism work?
02:20 December 5, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
A laudible goal for Volvo, I hope they attain it. Nice car. Over priced in Australia.

@smilingjack:

I'm unaware of roads between vast distances having reduced speed limits. Urban areas yes and correctly so.
23:00 December 7, 2012 by tomas R
Hello!

It is very good and practical idea! All systems are important in the car. I mean engine (the heart of the car), fuel and injection system, ignition system, steering, brakes, suspension and so on. But I personally think that SAFETY (of people sitting inside the car) is number one.

I had the road accident on 2010.12.06 (two years ago). I went out from the main road and stoped when I crashed my car (the other swedish car SAAB 9000'95) to the small concrete wall where water flows. It was a lot of snow on the road. I had the small shock after that accident but I was whole (without damages).

So I replaced my front bumper, front lights (the turning lights were ok) and some plastic parts. The hood of the SAAB was without damages. I drove slowly my car home after that road accident. So I drive this swedish car from 2006.08.09 till these days. I am proud of driving SAAB but I like VOLVO too.

So I wish the best success to VOLVO's safety engineers!

Respectfully!

(Tomas Racys from Lithuania)
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