Volvo Says It Will Have An Injury Proof Car By 2020

from the accident-avoidance dept

You've probably heard the old adage, "if you make something idiot-proof, they'll make a better idiot." Well, it appears that Volvo wants to put that theory to the test. Just as Larry Page is complaining that not enough people are working on accident-proof cars, Volvo has announced that it will offer an injury proof vehicle by 2020. There's been a ton of work done over the past few years on accident avoidance and safety within vehicles, but the 2020 deadline is quite aggressive. Other automakers are working on similar systems, and it's good to see good old fashioned competition driving car companies towards making consumers much safer. Quite a change from the Unsafe at Any Speed days.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    sacamano, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:42am

    Only half the truth..

    .. as I am guessing you can still run over somebody with it.

     

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      Jake, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

      Re: Only half the truth..

      Actually, according to the article Volvo are looking at a collision-avoidance system that would sound an audible warning and if necessary apply the brakes if it detected an obstacle in the road ahead. It's no substitute for concentration and situational awareness, but it'd sure as hell improve the margin for error.

       

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    Porkster, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:55am

    But who can..

    It's a shame we won't be able to afford to drive it in 2020.

     

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    Leo, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:58am

    or make it fall off the bridge...
    also i don't think you can crash any car in to a wall at 80mph and stay injury free
    There will be lots of small print under that claim :))

     

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    JB, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    Any Engineering Student Can Do It

    Reminds me of the egg drop competition in college where engineering students design lightweight containers to hold an egg without letting it crack when dropped from 50 feet up.

    If you can wrap the car passengers tightly enough in the right material and secure them to an anchor point you can prevent them from getting hurt, but it won't be a very comfortable ride.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:04pm

    Odd...

    I was just thinking yesterday "why are only the windshields laminated and the rest tempered that will pretty much explode when hit hard enough?" You see it in every test wreck, the glass flying everywhere.

    Maybe this new car will be like the "canole" car in Demolition Man.

     

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      N1ck0, May 5th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

      Re: Odd...

      "why are only the windshields laminated and the rest tempered"

      Would you like to be stuck in a car with all laminated windows? Or what about when the fire department needs to pull you from your burning wreak of a car in a few seconds...

       

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      Chris, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:39pm

      Re: Odd...

      They're able to shatter to give people a way to get out of the car... If none of the windows would shatter, it could be a safety issue.

       

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    josh, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:11pm

    a long time ago, we decided that advertising and politics would become one.

    say whatever sounds good, regardless of action

    actions are truly insignificant at this point, and companies, like politics, do whatever they can to sell a products and themselves.

    all advertising is nowadays is saying what sounds good...whether what is said has a single shred of relation to what the product or service provides is absolutely irrelevant.

    the saddest part, is that anyone out there actually believes that such statements are indicative of what is possible, or even rational.

    sure, let's make an accident-proof car...can't believe we didn't think of this earlier...it's so obvious.

     

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    Joel Coehoorn, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    This is scary

    What happens after every automaker nails this concept, all the older cars finally break down, and a generation of drivers comes along that has never known anything else?

     

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    real driver, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    I'm sure GTA 2020 will figure out some way to circumvent the injury proof Volvo 2020!

     

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    another mike, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    scarier still

    What happens when you learned to drive in one of these smarter-than-the-driver cars and you borrow your luddite friend's late model no-power-anything stick shift clunker? "Well, I thought it would warn me before I wedged it under the back of that semi."
    This is happening even now. Couple of punks tried to steal my car, realized they didn't know how to drive a stick, and just trashed it and stole the radio. They left it on the front seat when they realized it wasn't a radio, it was an 8-track player.

     

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      airdrummer, May 6th, 2008 @ 9:32am

      stan mott was there;-)

      when airbags were 1st proposed, he drew a cartoon for road&track showing exactly that: people using cars as battering rams;-}

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Too bad GM will drive Volvo into bankruptcy in 2015 ....

     

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      Greahm, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:01pm

      Re:

      Volvo is owned by Ford.

       

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        gamot, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:17pm

        Re: Re:

        precisely. they are attempting to utlilize volvo's reputation for safety to sell the crap that they call volvo now. not what it used to be, as is with everything else in this world.

         

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      Gutsy One, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:44am

      Re: And this is possible how?

      So GM will drive Volvo into bankruptcy, or do you mean GM will drive Volvos on their way to bankruptcy. If GM owned Volvo then your comment would reflect that you have a clue but that is not the case. Ford owns Volvo which might make it hard for GM to drive them to bankruptcy. Even if Ford goes bankrupt Volvo automotive I guarantee lives on. The Volvo Group which is way bigger than Ford could ever dream to be will not be allow it to die just for namesake. Volvo Group is one of the most powerful companies in Europe easy. Ford only owns the automotive line-up. Plus most their sales are outside the US so they will be bought and kept alive and who knows maybe the sale will allow the US to have one auto manufacturer left.

       

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    Matt, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:31pm

    even moreso, new problems - the greatest offense is the greatest defense

    Cars still test at like 30MPH impacts, and fail pretty badly at that. Highway safety testing is at far lower speeds than impacts occur on highways....try running tests on survival impact at 60 MPH and the rates are like 0% even on a stationary object. Cars won't even make this by 2050 if we're still using them by them.

    There isn't a true balance as of yet, and I doubt there ever will be, because:

    the more resilient a car is, the more likely to kill a pedestrian upon impact
    the less resilient (and more flexible, features like engines that go downward in a collision), the more likely to kill a driver and/or person inside the car upon impact.

    The more insulation you put inside a vehicle, the more risk of suffocation and flammability. Conversely, the less insulation you put inside a vehicle, the less cushion and higher risk for internal injury.

    The safer a car is to the driver, the more dangerous it can potentially be to those around them, and vice versa.

    Pedestrian vs car, you can only protect from one or the other. When you have flexible materials, high speed impacts = screwed.

     

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      dorpass, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:34pm

      Re: even moreso, new problems - the greatest offense is the greatest defense

      Cars fail tests at 30 mph? Survival rate at 60 mph is 0%? What country are you in, India? Modern cars do quite a bit better that your claims and a stroll past many of the highway collisions you can find on our roads can easily prove that.

       

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    bored, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    GM owns SAAB, FORD owns Volvo.

     

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    kureshii, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    It's fine to make an injury-proof car... but is a car that's injury-proof only for the driver really what we need?

    So I guess we'll just screw the pedestrians and other unwitting victims of crashes.

    I say what we need is a car that won't move if the driver is drunk. That should be easy enough to engineer. Once we get past that (or at the same time) we can start looking at similar dangers - excessive speeding, aggressive driving, needless tailgating...

    Those aren't the only factors causing accidents of course, but why put the focus on those when we haven't even got the basics right? As for traffic light timings, that's not something the auto industry can do much about on its own.

     

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    Ben, May 5th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    I'm guessing the insurance industry is loving Volvo right about now.. "how can we make money off this!?"

     

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    Bryan, May 5th, 2008 @ 1:14pm

    NYC

    Does anyone here drive in Manhattan?? It's not the worst thing to knock off a few of these animals...I mean...pedestrians

     

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    Wireless Speech Recognition, May 5th, 2008 @ 1:33pm

    What exactly is "Injury Proof" .. ??

    I'm not entirely sure I believe this is a definable term, to begin with. What injuries, *exactly* are included in this blanket declaration? For example, if a gasoline tanker next to me explodes at 75mph on the Interstate .. ?? Bill Burke http://wirelessspeech.blogspot.com

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    The idea of an injury-proof car, while commendable, is laughable at best. Yes, it is possible to do much more in the area of safety than is currently being done. However, to guarantee that a car is 100% injury-free in an accident is simply impossible, at least without some stipulations. For example, I challenge any car manufacturer to come out with a PRACTICAL car that is invulnerable to being hit by a train, or even a large semi truck. Also, unless you strap a person's head in place, which in itself is a huge safety problem, you're always going to have whiplash problems from high-speed crashes. It would be good to define "injury" in your guarantee.

    The bottom line is that there can only be so much safety built into a vehicle. What really needs to be promoted is safe drivers and driving habits. I would much rather see people use their turn signals than worry about how many airbags are in my car (which, btw, have been known to cause injuries themselves). The focus should be on preventing accidents, not preventing injuries resulting from accidents. That's not to say that vehicle safety isn't important. I'm just saying that the primary focus isn't in the right place here.

     

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      Nasch, May 6th, 2008 @ 3:41pm

      Re:

      If you read the article, you can see that the primary (or at least a major) focus of this effort is on active safety. They want to prevent accidents, and failing that mitigate their effects. They can do both, it's not mutually exclusive.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 2:14pm

    We already have injury free cars. I've driven my Impreza practically around the world with no injury.

    Idiots who can't drive cause injuries, not the car.

     

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    DB, May 5th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    Not going to happen

    Even if you can completely secure the body and keep it from impacting anything, there is nothing to secure a ll your from sloshing around in side. If you decelerate fast enough your brain and other internal organs will get turned into jelly.

     

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    DB, May 5th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    Not going to happen

    Even if you can completely secure the body and keep it from impacting anything, there is nothing to secure all your internal organs from sloshing around inside. If you decelerate fast enough your brain and other internal organs will get turned into jelly.

     

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    Jones, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    READ THE ARTICLE FOLKS!

    1st paragraph:

    quote - "Volvo wants to give people the same sense of invincibility by producing a virtually injury-proof car by 2020" - end quote

    key word: VIRTUALLY

    what it means... They will have a car sometime near 2020 that just might protect the passengers from injury......Maybe, there may be exceptions.

    Like I have a foolproof plan that will VIRTUALLY guarantee I win the lotto by 2020...

    The plan is I'l buy lotto tickets. I will probably win, maybe, there may be exceptions.

     

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    manny, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:26pm

    come on guys

    I applaud them on the effort... Truly it is much easier to take the negative than the positive; seeing the numbers of commenters that take the easy route... It will be a challence but there will be colleteral benefits that will come from the research... I wonder if any of you would give up the little luxuries that we all take for granted that were little (side benefits of the space program) im including cell phones but it is iffy on the benefit aspect...

     

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    Tim, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:12pm

    we are already making cars injury proof...

    The government and oil companies are already implimenting a plan to make cars injury free. It is simple, rase fuel prices to over $4.00 per gallon, and no one can afford to drive a car. Any accident at 0 mph is "injury free".

     

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    Justin C, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:23pm

    Highway Collisions

    The majority of Highway collisions occur at much slower than 60 MPH. The actual speed of the vehicles doesn't matter, it's all about the difference in speed. In other words, it would be much worse to hit a tree at 40 miles per hour than run into someone at 80 if they're going 70. One is essentially a 10 MPH collision, while the other isn't, plus you generally have plenty of area for the force to dissipate in a highway collision. You really want to avoid three things, a head on collision, a t-bone collision, or a collision with an immovable stationary object.

     

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    Evostick, May 6th, 2008 @ 3:08am

    Spike

    The safest car is one with a big spike coming out of the steering wheel. No-one would dare crash one of those

     

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    r. decline, May 6th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    safety a go go

    am i the only one that has wondered why we don't build cars similar to the way nascar and indycars are built...

     

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    some random guy, May 6th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    sell 'em to the troops!

    replace humvees with volvos. We become invincible. Game over, bad guys lose.

     

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    aleks, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    car safety

    every car is a safety car, it just depends how you use your car!

     

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    aleks, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    you can drive the same car for ever and not get injured in it, it has nothing to do with the car, it all on you!

     

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    sean, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    crazy

    how can you make a injury proof car thats not possible on this planet

     

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    vicky, Dec 4th, 2013 @ 3:47am

    Injury Proof

    Injury Proof Cars huh...that sounds great but i don't think its humanly possible...

     

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