In 1937 there were 30.8 motor vehicle related deaths per 100,000 people in the United States by 2019 .
That number decreased to 11.9 per 100,000 .
But what if it could be ?
Zero , Volvo Safety Center opened in 2000 in Gothenburg .
Sweden believes it has the tools to reach that goal .
The $81 million state of the art facility is host to an average of two crash tests every day and includes a pivoting , rotating crash track , a crane that drops vehicles from 98 ft in the air and an outdoor space for rollover and runoff accident simulations .
Since its inception in 1927 Volvo has been synonymous with safety .
It was a Volvo engineer , Neils Bolin who in 1959 introduced the first three point safety be an invention that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates saved 329,715 lives between 19 62,012 .
Volvo also introduced the first rear facing child safety seat in 1972 and in 1994 it introduced the world's first side impact airbags .
Volvo has a reputation for , um , safety and , um , you know , in my experience , I think it's well deserved , you know , Volvo is independently working to identify problems , you know , safety problems that need to be addressed , coming up with solutions and then keeping those solutions in , in their design process .
The safety center has two primary test tracks .
One is 354 ft long and the other 505 ft long , the shorter track is movable and could be set at any angle between zero and 90 degrees to allow for multi car tests and tests at varying speeds and angles .
We can reconstruct more or less any type of crash situation here in this lab .
So what we can do here is that we can recreate a front to front , crash , a side crash or as we have done and talked about also run off road type of crash could be generated in this environment , run off road , crash tests are performed outside and simulate an accident where the vehicle leaves the road and is briefly airborne before colliding with a ditch .
These tests are performed in conjunction with the Robo coaster .
A robot that can be programmed to simulate what happens to an occupant in a run off road crash , rollover crashes are also performed outside using a hydraulic platform that launches a vehicle into a rollover motion at different heights and speeds .
One of the more shocking tests done at the safety center is the crane drop in which a vehicle plummets towards the ground from a height of 98 ft .
The test is performed so that emergency responders can practice rescues from high impact crashes with the jaws of life in order to accurately represent real people .
Volvo has a large variety of crash dummies to replicate different sizes of men , women and small Children .
Each test dummy is equipped with sensors that notify researchers , which parts of a passenger's body would be safest and which would be the most vulnerable in a crash .
Both the car and barriers are fitted with sensors that record the entire chain of events in detail .
And we create a a situation with ax meters sensing motion pattern and forces in the car .
We have extensive footage and that is done by adding extra capabilities , light capabilities .
We can run cameras with around 1000 frames per second to really understand the details of the crash .
And then we run it in this crash facility and we could generate the same type of crash that we have seen out in field crashes , field crashes that are studied by the Volvo Accident research team .
They have have the task of understanding what goes on in traffic .
You know , because if you start with what technology is available , you are limited to what's out there , they will travel to accidents within a reasonable driving distance from Gothenburg .
The reason for that is because , you know , we want to know the time of day , we want to know the road conditions and these things can shift .
If we have a accident , collision with injuries involved , we will ask the permission from , from the user or driver of the car to get the medical journal from the hospital .
And then with this knowledge , we can go further down and do in depth studies of crash situations that we find important for our customers .
How did this in a pattern occur ?
Why did this occur ?
And how could we change uh the event ?
What may be possible is that people don't get seriously injured or killed and that , you know , may come about by a combination of providing better protection to people when crashes occur as well as um you know , outfitting cars with systems that help drivers avoid crashing or at least mitigate the conditions of the crash um that would have occurred otherwise .
Well , our ultimate goal is zero .
People are excellent drivers when they're at their best and then you have life , life can be hard .
So focus for us is not , not so much the why but more the what can we do for you ?
How can we help you be the best driver ?
You can possibly be in whatever situation you're in .
There's a beginning to safety development , but there is no end because it is a circle , it goes on .