To help emergency services understand the best ways to get people out of crashed modern cars, Volvo dropped several of its vehicles 30 meters from a crane
Volvo doesn’t approach car safety the way its competitors do. When the Swedish company developed the current XC90, we are known to have run all sorts of unusual crash tests, including one where the car was fired from a ditch.
So we shouldn’t be at all surprised if Volvo drops a number of its latest products 30 meters from a crane, all in the name of safety. The idea was to help rescue team extraction specialists better understand how to cut into modern cars – normally, according to Volvo, training would be done on vehicles that came from junkyards.
This is likely to affect an older vehicle, so bridging the knowledge gap is important. Compared to a car built about 15 years ago, a modern car will be an entirely different beast thanks to changing materials, construction methods, and safety cage designs in the automotive industry.
“Volvos are made of the hardest steel in modern cars,” the company boasts, making them ideal test subjects. It is important that the extraction with tools like the “jaws of life” be done as quickly as possible – there is what is known as a “golden hour” which indicates that a patient must be at the hospital within an hour of an accident.
Volvo dropped 10 of its cars multiple times and at multiple angles in the tests. All front, side and rear impacts cause the vehicles to deform in different ways. The 30 meters wasn’t just a random number. Volvo’s safety engineers are said to have carefully calculated the type of pressure required to “achieve the desired level of damage”.
Although the company worked with Swedish rescue services for the test, all results are made available to rescue teams worldwide free of charge. And for the rest of us, we can enjoy all of the fascinating slow motion footage.