Two decades of Volvo Cars Safety Centre

Volvo Cars Safety Centre saves lives by crashing one brand new Volvo car a day

The Volvo Cars Safety Centre celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Opened in 2000 by the King of Sweden, the Centre is one of the most advanced crash labs in the world.

The lab helps Volvo Cars engineers push the boundaries of safety and learn from real-life traffic accidents. Volvo Cars has a stated objective: a future in which no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.

The Volvo Cars Safety Centre crash lab is a multifunctional facility that allows Volvo Cars safety engineers to recreate countless traffic situations and accidents, and perform tests that go beyond regulatory requirements.

The lab contains two test tracks. One is 108, the other is 154 metres long respectively. The 108 metre track is adjustable and can be positioned at different angles, from between 0 and 90 degrees. This allows for crash tests at different angles and speeds, even simulating a crash between two moving cars at speeds up to 120 km/h.

There is an outdoor area for staging roll-over crashes and run-off road scenarios. This includes launching cars into ditches at high speeds. Here, Volvo Cars also offers rescue services opportunities to hone their life-saving skills, as it did earlier this year when it dropped new Volvos from a height of 30 metres to simulate the heavy damage found in extreme crash scenarios.

Inside the main hall, there is an enormous crash barrier for testing various frontal, rear and side impacts. The barrier weighs 850 tonnes but is movable, if necessary, using air cushions.

Besides that barrier, there are more than two dozen other fixed and movable barriers, including a moose-like structure.

During the crash tests, the car, the crash test dummies and the barriers are fitted with sensors that allow Volvo Cars engineers to register the entire chain of events in detail. There are also dozens of ultra-high definition cameras to film the crash test from all angles.

Before a physical crash test, the car model in question has already gone through thousands of computer simulated crash tests. All the data generated from these test is used by Volvo’s engineers to develop safer cars.

In preparation for the future, the Volvo Cars Safety Centre has been equipped to execute specific crash tests for electric cars.