Trading Enterprises, the exclusive distributor of Volvo cars in the UAE and part of Al-Futtaim Automotive has announced that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Volvo Cars’ Accident Research Team.
At Volvo, the team is known as the company’s in-house detectives. Yet they could also be called the Swedish car maker’s own CSI team, with a little twist on the acronym of TV fame. The crash scene investigators of the Volvo Car Accident Research Team are ready around the clock to make sure that Volvo Cars learns from real-life accidents and constantly improves its cars.
“Safety has always been the number one priority at Volvo Cars. At Trading Enterprises, we are proud of Volvo’s Accident Research Team. Thanks to their commitment, continuous efforts, and in-depth research insights, we are able to continuously improve our offerings and provide UAE drivers with safe and capable vehicles.” says Oscar Rivoli, Managing Director at Trading Enterprises – Volvo. “The latest statistics by the Ministry of Interior show that an average of two people a day were killed on the UAE’s roads in the past five years, therefore the work the team does remains as important as ever.”
The team has been in operation since 1970. Whenever an accident involving a Volvo occurs around Gothenburg, Sweden, be it night or day, they quickly get to the scene when notified. As they arrive, they start an investigation and document the sequence of events as detailed as possible.
That means asking questions. How forceful was the impact? How quickly did the active safety systems intervene? How are the passengers? Other questions include: What was the weather like? What was the time? In what condition were the road markings?
The work continues back at the office: the team requests publicly accessible police reports, contacts the driver and examines the car when possible. The team also tries to understand how the driver experienced the accident, a process that involves the Volvo Cars Safety Centre’s behavioural scientists.
Finally, the team will ask the people involved in the accident to share their medical records, which allows them to take note of any injuries sustained. These are analysed by biomechanics experts, in cooperation with physicists, to understand the exact causes of the injury.
All the data and knowledge collected is coded and depersonalised. Conclusions from this research are shared with Volvo’s product development teams, who use it to develop and implement new technologies in upcoming cars. The team also identifies things that can’t be solved today – allowing Volvo Cars to remain at the forefront of safety development.
Every year, the team investigates around 30-50 accidents in person, but accidents happen all over the world and the scene can be hard to reach on time. In those cases, and to the degree possible, the detectives work to map out accidents with the support from Volvo personnel and emergency services closer to the site.
On top of that, the team also uses other sources of information such as public accident databases found globally to make sure that the necessary steps are taken.
“The Accident Research Team is far from the only source of research data for our safety experts, but it plays an important role for us to really understand the details,” says Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “Accidents do still happen, but nowadays the consequences are much milder and serious injuries are much rarer than they used to be.”
A subsidiary of the Al-Futtaim Automotive Group, Trading Enterprises was established in 1970s in Dubai and is the exclusive authorized distributor for Volvo in the UAE. It is empowered by a highly skilled and trained professional team to provide a complete car buying experience. Al-Futtaim Automotive is one of five divisions within the Al-Futtaim Group which provides quality products and services that enrich people’s lives and aspirations each and every day.