Some timeago there was a meme about Volvo going around the Internet. It said: Good Guy Volvo invented the three-point seat belt and then let everyone use it. Granted, the development of the three-point belt was a big deal, and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we’re grateful not only for it, but for the decision to keep the patent opened.
However, the three-point belt was only one of the innovations that Volvo has brought into our lives. A quick research online showed me that the Swedish company is responsible for many others, invented or made popular by them, and I’d like to share with you my favourites. So here’s my *drum rolls* Volvo Countdown!
5: The Three-Point Seat Belt
(Okay, so I’ve talked about it before, so that why this particular piece of equipment is not number 1. But it was a game changer, and it is considered, to this day, a vital part of safety driving, so I couldn’t just leave it out).
Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin developed the seat belt we all use nowadays in 1959; after that, all Volvos exited the production line already equipped with the safety device. Volvo left the patent opened so everyone could benefit from it, which is another bonus point for the Swedes.
4: Rear-Facing Child Seat
Baby car seats and booster seats are now mandatory in many countries, and it all started in the 1960s, when companies developed researches and designs meant to improve the safety of children inside cars. It comes as no surprise that Volvo was one of the pioneers, starting as early as 1964 under the tutelage of Prof.BertilAldman, M.D. The first rear-facing child seat was sold in 1967 as an accessory for the Volvo Amazon, with booster seats following in the next years.
3: Environmentally Conscious
Nowadays it’s expect from all companies to have a plan to help save the environment – or at least not damage it much more than they have. Volvo’s interest in the issue can be traced back to 1992, when Volvo Buses began to research and develop buses that could run on natural gas and also presentedThe Environmental Concept Car(ECC), which used recycled materials and had a hybrid engine (electric and petrol).It wasalsoon that decade that the Lambda probe designed and used by Volvo made its way into everyone else’s.
2: Concept Cars
I know, I know, it’s not something Volvo invented or is distinctive to the brand, but bear with me. Volvo always comes forward with cars you and I would like to drive because it’s functional and answers our real, day-to-day needs, even if in a whimsical way. A few years ago Volvo had a team of women design their perfect car, the Your Concept Car; it was safe and comfortable, in addition to ensuring easy access to all cabin and easily maintained. To celebrate 50 years of the rear-facing child seat they unveiled the Excellence Child Seat Concept, a twist on the XC90 which substitutes the passenger seat for a child seat. The ReCharge Concept, another clean car, can run up to 100km on electricity before turning to its Flexi fuel engine.
Again, not a Volvo invention, but definitely taken up a notch or two by the Swedes. While driver seat air bags were already in use, in the mid-nineties Volvo developedthe Side Impact air bag to complement the internal structure of the car; the feature once offered as optional was made standard on all Volvo cars produced after 1995.Only a few years later, in 1998, curtain air bags were designed to protect passengers both in the front and in the back seats. Once again made standard on all Volvo cars, it’s considered a more advanced feature and its the one mostly used by manufacturers nowadays.
Okay, so this is my countdown. How would yours go? What would you include or leave out? Make sure to comment bellow!