Volvo Developing an Injury-Proof Car
Personally, I'd love to visit the test site and see the symphony of car-smashing mayhem. What does that say about me?
The Swedish automaker is leading a race to create a "matrix of systems" that use radar, sonar and other technology to prevent and mitigate crashes.In the event of a crash, when most drivers freeze, the car would steerand brake on its own. Cutting pre-impact speed by even 10 mph would cut the death rate in half, so self-braking systems are key to reducing traffic fatalities.
"If you look into the future, we as a community will not accept that wehave injuries," Jan Ivarsson, head of the Volvo safety team, told Reuters. "We have other things that are important in life."
To reach the 2020 deadline -- 12 years isn't that long in the auto industry -- Volvo has stepped up testing at its vehicle-safety testing center in Gothenburg, Sweden, where it stages 400 accidents a year. They've got two 150-meter tunnels, including the auto industry’s only rotatingtest tunnel, where engineers can replicate head-on and side-impactcollisions and even dunk a car in a pond. With all the ways they'vedeveloped to destroy a car, Volvo's got the world’s most advancedcar and test-dummy torture chamber.