Volvo have begun development of active safety systems at their proving ground in Sweden. This is yet another example of the great strides being made by Volvo, and a serious step towards their goal that by 2020 nobody will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car. The systems are being tested at the brand new AstaZero facility, not far from Volvo HQ in Gothenberg. Alongside this groundbreaking work, the testing of autonomous driving technology will also be part of the schedule at AstaZero. Pether Wallin, CEO at AstaZero said: ''You can simulate all types of real-world traffic scenarios. At most proving grounds, the options are more limited".
AstaZero appears on the face of it, to be exactly the sort of location where these advancements can really flourish. The centre has an ability to accomodate varied conditions, such as busy inner-city roads, motorways, highways and crossroads. These complex traffic situations will be imperative for studying the way cars interact with moving objects such as pedestrians, trucks, buses and other obstacles. In these situations, the cars will be operated by robots (yes, really).
Volvo are quick to quash suggestions that their 2020 deadline may be a little ambitious and far-fetched. According to Anders Axelson of Volvo Cars Safety. The Swedish automotive industry is at the leading edge of active safety. Thanks to AstaZero, we have great prospects for keeping our leading position. We’re the only car manufacturing company in the world to have set a goal of zero traffic fatalities for a specific date, and we’re the only country in the world whose government supports a zero traffic fatalities vision.”
Bold statements from Volvo. Regardless, there's much to do in order to reach their 2020 goal, and while these are important steps it will be interesting to see how the plan shapes up over the coming months. As soon as there is more information, be sure to check here as we'll be following the events very closely.