New Scalable Product Architecture Enables Volvo to Move Toward a Crash-free Future
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Dec. 12, 2013) - The elegant design possibilities are the most visually evident – but far from the only – advantages of Volvo Car Group’s (Volvo Cars) new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The ingenious new architecture also enables the company to reinforce its safety leadership and increase its momentum toward the aim that by 2020, no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.
Recent independent data from STRADA (Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition) show that modern Volvos have close to 60 percent lower injury rates compared to the average modern vehicle in Sweden, which in turn has one of the lowest injury rates in the world.
The new SPA architecture enables significant improvements when it comes to offering protection in worst-case scenarios and when creating innovative features that support the driver in avoiding accidents.
“We retain our uncompromising attitude to offering superior crash protection,” says Jan Ivarsson, senior manager, safety strategy and requirements at Volvo Cars. He adds: “The new architecture opens up for further improvements. Seven percent of the safety cage in the original XC90 was made of hot-formed boron steel. The structure in the upcoming all-new XC90 features more than 40 percent hot-formed steel, which translates into significantly improved strength without adding mass or weight.”
Unique electrical architecture
The new architecture includes a groundbreaking new electrical architecture that elevates the car’s intelligence level significantly. The architecture is designed to make it easy to add sophisticated functions and rapidly implement new technology in fast-moving areas such as microprocessor, sensor and camera technology.
In principle, the electrical architecture consists of a network with four domain masters – vehicle dynamics, safety, car body and infotainment.
“Each master can be connected to every single unit in the whole architecture. This means that we have one single nerve system with full control over all the connections in the vehicle. This is unique in the industry,” says Peter Mertens, senior vice president, research and development.
A holistic system built around people
The driver is literally the core of Volvo Cars’ holistic approach, which is based on real traffic situations:
Embracing the driver
The driver and passengers are embraced by solutions designed for intelligent absorption of energy in various types of collisions. The safety technologies – such as safety belts, pre-tensioners, whiplash protection system, airbags and inflatable curtains – are continuously being enhanced.
In cars built on the new SPA architecture, the smart belt pre-tension systems increase occupant security before and during a collision. For example, the rear-facing radar is used to detect a rear impact. This allows the safety belts to be tightened in advance to keep the occupants in place.
The new patented SPA safety cage, with its mix of different steel grades, has been made stronger and smarter. The superior strength is achieved by more extensive use of boron steel.
Camera, radar and sensor technologies are extended to detect more objects around the car and to offer support at higher speeds and in more situations – at crossings, for example.
“One of the most important focus areas within collision-avoidance is helping prevent unintentional road departures by autonomous steering intervention in critical situations. Unintentional road departure results in most deaths and serious injuries in modern traffic,” says Ivarsson.
The new features also include detection and auto brake for large animals and pedestrians when driving in the dark.
Enhancing the driving experience
The sensors used by the collision-avoiding solutions are part of the extended range of features that makes the drive more enjoyable by simplifying complex traffic situations. This includes Adaptive Cruise Control with steer assist, introduced in the upcoming all-new XC90. The car automatically follows the vehicle ahead in slow moving traffic. The Scalable Platform Architecture is also designed to accommodate the implementation of autonomous technologies all the way to self-driving cars.
Seeing around the corner
To exchange communication with other vehicles, the infrastructure extends the driver’s theoretical field of vision beyond the capacity of the camera, radar and sensors. With Car2Car and Car2Infrastructure technology in place, vital information can be shared and exchanged – creating a more comfortable and safer drive.
The technology opens up a multitude of safety and support possibilities, such as obtaining road friction information, advance warnings and detour options to avoid traffic, creating a green light wave and finding free parking spots.
Always in touch with the world
The modern desire to be constantly connected is moving into the car. Connectivity can be used to make driving safer and more comfortable – but bringing it into the driver’s seat is also a challenge from a safety perspective.
The desire to stay online may divert the driver’s focus from the road. This is a field where Volvo Cars believes that autonomous drive will play an important role. Not having to supervise the drive continuously in certain situations allows the driver to focus safely on something else.
“Allowing the car to act automatically is crucial when moving toward the vision that future cars will not crash at all. The technologies enabled by our new Scalable Product Architecture will bring us significantly closer to this ultimate goal,” concludes Ivarsson.
Volvo Concept XC Coupé: The Next Chapter in Volvo’s New Design Story
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Dec. 11, 2013) - In September, the Volvo Concept Coupé was launched to critical acclaim and many awards, and represented the world’s first insight into Volvo Car Group's (Volvo Cars) new design direction under Senior Vice President of Design, Thomas Ingenlath. It also showed one interpretation of how the proportions and versatility of Volvo Cars' new Scalable Platform Architecture, which will underpin all medium and large cars in the company’s future, could look.
The Concept Coupé was the first of three design studies. The next chapter in Volvo Cars' new design story showcases how the company’s famous safety technology as well as a contemporary Scandinavian active lifestyle could be integrated into the new architecture. The Volvo Concept XC Coupé will make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on Jan. 13, but full details including press release, videos and images will be published on Jan. 8.
The Concept XC Coupé builds on the Volvo’s proud history of Cross Country and XC products, with Volvo Cars having created the niche in 1997. And in anticipation of the reveal of the car in early 2014, Volvo Cars now shares the first three images of the car as well as a short video on Volvo Cars' YouTube channel.
VoBekking and Brunel back for Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
Amsterdam – December 3, 2013 - Dutch sailor Bouwe Bekking will return for a record-equaling seventh bid for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, the world’s leading crewed offshore race, as skipper of a new campaign launched by Brunel on Tuesday in Amsterdam.
For both sailor and sponsor, it is a case of “unfinished business”. Bekking, 50, has competed in the event twice as skipper without winning and Team Brunel will be having their third crack at ocean sailing’s most prestigious crown on the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65.
Team Brunel is the fourth campaign to announce its participation in the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race which starts with the Alicante in-port race on October 4, 2014 before setting off for the near nine-month, 39,379-nautical mile marathon a week later.
For Bekking, this latest challenge from one of the world’s leading nautical nations is a chance to put the record straight having twice finished runner-up in an event that is part of Dutch sailing heritage having had three winners over the event’s 40 years.
He will match the achievement of Sde Roger Nilson as the only man to have competed seven times in the race, nearly 30 years after his first attempt in 1985-86we.
“A Dutch-speaking team in the Volvo Ocean Race again – we owe this to our heritage and the future sailing generations to come. But above all it’s the best sailing in the world,” said a delighted Bekking who takes the helm on a Dutch boat with a real chance of adding to the country’s success story.
“Our nation is known around the world as the country of windmills, dykes, tulips, cheese, wooden clogs – and the Volvo Ocean Race. The race is just in our blood.”
Referring to his partnership with Brunel, the global project management, recruitment and consultancy company, Bekking added: “It is a great opportunity to reinforce to the world what Brunel stands for: diverse, international and dynamic. The Volvo Ocean Race is the perfect vehicle to showcase this message.”
Brunel CEO Jan Arie van Barneveld stated: “We are really happy that Brunel has again its own team and own sailing machine in the most exiting and prestigious sailing regatta in the world.”
“The formula of the race has been improved significantly: the boats are identical so it’s the teams that make the difference. It is about the quality and cooperation between the people. That is Brunel! We go for the people, the sport and the victory,” he added.
The team joins all-female campaign Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and the Chinese challenge Team Dongfeng in the 2014-15 line-up announced so far.
The Dutch have a glorious heritage in the race, starting when it was known as the Whitbread Round the World Race in the 1977-78 edition which was won by the legendary skipper Conny van Rietschoten on board Flyer. He triumphed again in 1981-82 and remains the only skipper to have won the Volvo Ocean Race twice.
Brunel made its debut in the 1997-98 race as BrunelSunergy and the company returned in 2005-06 in a race that was won by rival Dutch challenger, ABN AMRO ONE.
Three-time race veteran and Chairman of Sailing Holland, Gideon Messink, is delighted to see all the hard preparation work putting together the latest Dutch challenge paying off.
“Our goal is to enter a professional winning team in the Volvo Ocean Race. The Volvo Ocean 65 high-tech, one-design boat is a great improvement. It’s now all about sport and teamwork.
“We are very happy that we found the golden team to do this with miles and miles of experience in every aspect. We have one of the best sailors and skippers in the world in Bouwe Bekking and twice-Volvo Ocean Race participant and great team player Gerd-Jan Poortman already named in our crew.
“Brunel is an ambitious sponsor with its roots in sailing sports. Our organization is based on expertise and experience in sailing, both business-wise and on the water. Last but certainly not least, we have the support of the Dutch people.”
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad added: “This announcement is great news all round. Brunel is a sponsor coming back to the race for the third time and feels like part of the Volvo Ocean Race family. They are here to win. They’re a fantastic sponsor.
“Bouwe is a great sailor and totally experienced skipper. He’s come close to winning many times – I’m sure he has some unfinished business with the event. This will be a real Dutch team and will create a real buzz in a country that knows the race so well. They will start training very soon – it’s all coming together.”
The campaign’s secondary sponsors will be Moduleo®, a division of the IVC Group which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of vinyl floor coverings.