IIHS Lauds Volvo City Safety Technology

HLDI study reveals improved accident avoidance with Volvo SUV.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit organization backed by the nation’s auto insurance companies, has given Volvo’s City Safety technology a thumb’s up. A study conducted by its Highway Loss Data Institute notes that the Volvo XC60 crossover equipped with City Safety is “far less likely to be involved in low-speed crashes than comparable vehicles without the system.”

Insurance Claims

Volvo designed City Safety to help drivers avoid rear-ending another vehicle in slow-moving, heavy traffic. Reviewing insurance claims for property damage under liability coverage, the HLDI discovered that filings were 27 percent lower for the XC60 than for other midsize luxury SUVs.

Said Adrian Lund, president of HLDI, “This is our first real-world look at an advanced crash avoidance technology, and the findings are encouraging. City Safety is helping XC60 drivers avoid the kinds of front-to-rear, low-speed crashes that frequently happen on congested roads.”

Warning Systems

At higher speeds the HLDI noted that Volvo and its competitors offer optional forward collision warning systems to prevent crashes. HLDI is conducting a study to see how well these systems work in helping drivers avoid more dangerous, even deadly crashes. The institute is working with automakers directly and has noted that these systems are being offered in a broader selection of new vehicles.

City Safety is pioneering technology and is now found on the Volvo S60 sedan. For the 2012 model year, S80 sedans and XC70 wagons will also provide this technology. City Safety is standard equipment for each model line.

City Safety

Volvo designed its City Safety technology to automatically apply the crossover’s brakes to avoid a front-to-rear crash in certain low-speed conditions. Employing an infrared laser sensor that is built into the windshield, this technology monitors the area in front of the vehicle when traveling at speeds ranging from approximately 2 to 19 mph.

City Safety detects and automatically reacts to other vehicles within18 feet of the crossover’s front bumper, day or night. When City Safety detects that the speed difference between vehicles is less than 9 mph, this technology enables drivers to avoid some crashes completely. At speeds between 9 and 19 mph, City Safety may not prevent a crash, but the impact will be reduced. City Safety does not work at speeds from 20 mph.

Said Lund, “Crash avoidance technology has a lot of promise. We are doing more research to see if other systems live up to their billing.” For the Volvo XC60, the institute compared this vehicle with other 2009-10 midsize luxury SUVs in addition to other 2009-10 Volvo models.


HLDI: High-tech System on Volvos is Preventing Crashes; July 19, 2011


  1. Matt Keegan says

    Thanks, Kelsey. I got it right elsewhere in the article, but missed it in the introduction — I goofed! I appreciate you pointing this error out.