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Swedish automaker Volvo has promised that by 2020, nobody will be killed or seriously injured while driving or riding in one of its new vehicles. That's a pretty bold claim although as CNN Money notes, it's not an unprecedented feat.
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that there are currently nine vehicle models in which nobody in the US has died in during a four year period. One of those vehicles happens to be Volvo's own XC90 luxury SUV.
Volvo is banking on autonomous driving being a key cog in its mission to make its lineup "death proof" but that's not the entire strategy.
The first step towards reaching that goal is to make vehicles as safe as possible when they do crash. This step encompasses the use of things like multiple airbags and strategically-designed crumple zones that absorb the brunt of an impact.
Step two involves the heavy use of technology to help avoid a crash including collision detection, adaptive cruise control, auto lane keeping, sign reading, pedestrian detection and large animal detection. As the publication notes, these technologies aren't unique to Volvo and can be found in varying degrees on a wide range of vehicles from competing automakers.
The third and final step of course is full autonomy. It's debatable whether or not this will become a reality by 2020 (I have my doubts) but here's to hoping Volvo proves me wrong.