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19 August 2011

Volvo's Safety Concept Car 10 years after

Concept cars are one-off masterpieces created by artistic minds to inspire and foretell how cars of the future will shape up to be. But among the myriad of concepts that debut in motor shows around the world each year, none of them even compares to how much Volvo's Safety Concept Car (SCC) helped shape the cars of today. Ten years after its debut in Detroit, the technological concepts from SCC are still making their way into new Volvo's. 
After the SCC was unveiled, work immediately got underway in 2002 to translate its technical concepts into production. One of the project's important goals was to demonstrate the possibility of combining world-class safety with a sporty and sleek package in a small car. Four years later, the project finally bore fruit when the Volvo C30 made its world debut in 2006. It proved that there's progress when designers and engineers work hand-in-hand. With over a dozen of the SCC's advanced technical solutions finding their way into new Volvo's each day, what started out as concepts now help drivers avoid both minor and major collisions.
Some of SCC's technology that ended up in today's Volvo's include City Safety, Pedestrian Detection, Collision Warning, and Full Auto Brake. These features were then developed out of separate innovations such as Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Information System. More recent innovations, on the other hand, focus on improving the driving experience. Some fine examples are the intelligent infotainment system called Volvo Sensus and the newly-developed Volvo mobile application
Unfortunately, one of the SCC's most remarkable attributes - the see-through A-pillars - was never realized due to restrictions in terms of strength, build complexity, and cost.
"When the Volvo SCC was unveiled, it was packed with sensational technology. Bearing in mind the interest of the car-buying public in active safety systems today, it's easy to see that the concept car was way ahead of its time. It's evidence that Volvo is and will remain at the cutting edge when it comes to automotive safety," said Mikael Edvardsson, Volvo SCC's design engineer.