A history of putting safety first

Volvo has been a pioneer in safety innovations since the start. Keeping road users safe – both inside and outside the cab – has always been our number one priority. Discover our safety innovations over the years.

1959 – Three-point seat belt

When Nils Bohlin developed the three-point seat belt for the Volvo Amazon model, little did he realize he would be changing automobile history. His invention, still used 60 years later, is estimated to have saved more than one million lives, thanks largely to the fact that we waived our patent rights so that the entire industry could benefit.

1960 – Safety tests

We have been safety testing our truck cabs since the early 60s. With standards set far stricter than those defined by the transport authorities at the time, the crash-tested Volvo cab introduced a new level of safety for trucks.

1977 – Safety cab 

Another milestone was our safety cab that was designed to handle tough Swedish road conditions and tested according to our stringent requirements. 

1985 – Anti-lock braking system (ABS)

The anti-lock braking system was introduced to prevent the wheels of a truck to lock if the driver brakes hard. The system allows the front wheels to spin once again to help the driver maintain control over the vehicle.

1996 – Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS)

Reducing injuries in collisions between trucks and cars has great impact on traffic safety. Our Front Underrun Protection System prevents a car from getting wedged under the truck in a collision.

2005 – Alcolock

To promote safer driving and help reduce traffic fatalities we introduced the alcolock. This system prevents drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit from starting a vehicle. 

2008 – Lane Change Support

Changing lanes in a safe way means that you need to keep an eye on the “blind spot”. To support the driver, we have developed a radar system that alerts the driver if a passenger car is in the way.              

2008 – Driver Alert Support

An alert driver is a safer driver. Our safety research has shown that lack of alertness is one of the major causes of accidents among truck drivers. With this in mind we developed a system that monitors driving characteristics to detect drowsy or inattentive drivers and send a warning on the display panel if the alertness level drops.

2012 – Stretch brake

Pulling a trailer and travelling down a steep hill can lead to jack knifing. To help combat the danger we designed the stretch brake. It slows the trailer down and stretches the gap between the vehicles if it senses a potential risk.                  

2012 – Collision Warning with Emergency Brake

Rear-end collisions are very common accidents between two trucks, causing injuries or even fatalities. The Collision Warning with Emergency Brake system, combining a radar and a camera, is a great help to monitor the traffic ahead. An alarm goes off in case of danger and in acute situations, it even applies the brakes of the truck. 

2013 – Volvo Dynamic Steering

The Volvo Dynamic Steering is an ultra-responsive steering system that lessens steering force and thereby helps reduce driver fatigue and increase road safety. This world-first technology enables steering with precision and directional stability, offering a more relaxed and safer driving experience with full control at all speeds.                

2018 – Volvo Dynamic Steering with Lane Keeping Assist

Lane Keeping Assist is designed to stop trucks from drifting out of their lane. If the truck comes too close to the lane marking on the road, its software system alerts the driver with a vibration on the steering wheel and gently steers the truck towards the center of the road.

2021 – Passenger corner camera

Another important safety feature is the Passenger Corner Camera. It’s particularly useful at intersections, supporting the driver to see cyclists, pedestrians, or other road users. When the driver indicates to turn, the camera, placed on the passenger side mirror, is automatically activated.       

2021 – Adaptive high beam

When it’s dark or weather conditions are bad, you need maximum visibility more than ever. However, a high beam can make it difficult for oncoming vehicles. With the adaptive high beam, LED head lamps automatically reduce the light directed towards other road users, but still help the driver to see perfectly. 

AVAS – Exterior sound for electric trucks

For those living in busy towns, quiet electric trucks are a huge benefit. But a silent vehicle can, at the same time, be a potential danger for other road users. Our acoustic experts developed four distinctive but unobtrusive sounds to make people aware of an approaching electric truck.

2022 – Active Grip Control

Every truck driver wants to be able to stay in control, especially when the road surface proves to be challenging. A skidding truck is truly dangerous – both for the driver and for other road users. Active Grip Control is our patented technology designed to improve stability, acceleration, and braking in slippery conditions. 

2022 – Side Collision Avoidance Support

In busy traffic situations, it can be difficult for even the most experienced driver to perceive everything around the vehicle. This system uses a dual radar on each side of the truck to detect when other road users,such as cyclists, enter the risk area. When you indicate to turn, it warns you if there is someone (or something) coming up from behind or crossing your way.  

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