It’s been almost a decade since Volvo announced its ambitious plan to make it virtually impossible to be injured or killed in one of its vehicles, and it looks like that plan is making some serious progress, enough that the Swedish automaker is confident that it can achieve that goal within the next four years. Thanks to how technology has progressed in the last few years, creating a “deahtproof” vehicle is well within our reach, and CEO of Volvo North America Lex Kerssemakers thinks his company will have those vehicles on the road before 2020.
Volvo has made a shocking pledge: By 2020, no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car or SUV. Seriously. “If you meet Swedish engineers, they’re pretty genuine,” said Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars North America. “They don’t say things when they don’t believe in it.” There is one big caveat. If someone really wants to hurt themselves, or is just really, really stupid… well, Volvo can’t do anything about that. But, assuming you’re not a suicidal maniac or a total idiot, in four years, you’ll be safer driving a new Volvo than you are climbing a ladder to screw in a light bulb. Fatality-free vehicles are not unprecedented. In fact, there already are some, and they’re not just Volvos. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are nine vehicle models — including the Volvo XC90 — in which no one in the United States died in the four years from 2009 to 2012, the most recent period for which data is available.