How did Volvo get its reputation for safety?Volvos are safe. That's one of the few things the world can agree on. How did Volvo get that reputation though, and is it justified?
[MUSIC]. Hello. Want to come for a ride on my Volvo? [MUSIC]. Come on in. [UNKNOWN]. My Volvo. It's much warmer in here than it is out there, anyway. Yeah, the heated seats and heated steering wheel are certainly helping with that. Here's what I've been thinking though. I've been driving in this Volvo for a while and what's the one thing when you think of Volvo that comes to mind? Safety. Exactly. And you ask anyone, anywhere in the world and they'll say exactly the same thing. And Volvos are Safe, they crash test them to within an inch of their lives. They set way higher standards than [UNKNOWN] and stuff like that. But where that that start? I was thinking like where that whole tradition come from? Do you know? I don't know [UNKNOWN] there's just always been sort of [UNKNOWN] these big tanks [UNKNOWN] safe. But lots of cars [UNKNOWN] But Volvo has this reputation so I wanted to find out why. So I've done some digging and I think I've found the point in time where it comes from. Would you like to know?>>I'd love to know.>>So the name Volvo came from a company who use to make ball bearings of all things. They set up Volvo to sell ball bearings in the U.S., never used it and then in 192- 27 they decided right we're gonna start using it for cars, so the first Volvo car comes from them. Volvo means I roll. Yeah my Latin teacher always used to say so if you have a Volvo you've effectively got a Rolls. That's sounds exactly like something a Latin teacher would say. They weren't necessarialy at that point the safest cars [UNKNOWN] in the world. In fact, no cars are really safe. People were dying in cars all the time. And in the 1950s, there was some research done by two guys, one called [UNKNOWN] and the other guys was called [UNKNOWN] I think [UNKNOWN] [LAUGH] [UNKNOWN] that's good enough for me. So those two Had possibly the largest contribution to car safety and they didn't even work for a car company. They worked for the Swedish power company that provided power for Sweden, Denmark, Norway, [INAUDIBLE] and they needed to investigate how they could make their company safer. And they did research into where all the injuries and deaths were happening within their company. And what they found, that the majority of these instance weren't coming from working with high voltage or faulty wiring. Don't tell me, came on the way to work. Yeah, [LAUGH] They were dying in car crashes on the way to work or between jobs. I mean, realize that they could save so many lives just by improving that safety. So, they wrote up a bunch of recommendations, including seat belts, and presented it to Volvo [INAUDIBLE]. But, there was one more person who needed to provide the final piece of that puzzle, a chap by the name of Nils Bohlin. He'd formerly worked for Saab in the aeronautical division, working on ejector seats. Not something that he brought over to cars, although if he has I just haven't found the button for it yet. [LAUGH] Nope. One of these. One of these might do it. His contribution was to take the recommendation that those other guys had made for seatbelts And he invented the three belt harness, this exact system we're using today. That simple invention was easy to use, incredibly safe, easy to fit. And not only was it a revelation in safety for Volvo Volvo made the patent free. Now there have been loads and loads of changes to car safety. Now this car alone has a million different airbags. I feel if we crashed this into a wall, the entire car would fill with soft air bags. Please don't. I won't. Don't worry. Side impact protection system, there's Bliss the blind spot indication system. [UNKNOWN] in the front there's even a phone cover on the engine which not only as good for keeping the sound out but also helps with pedestrian impacts. Everything about this car is as safe as it can be. But it's the seatbelt that makes the biggest difference [UNKNOWN] in his time did research and found that at that point any crash at any speed could be fatal. People were dying in as little as 5 to 10 mile an hour crashes. With seatbelts. You could survive crashes up to 60 miles an hour easily. These days, 48% of all fatalities in car accidents come from people not wearing seat belts. Seat belts alone in the USA 15,000 lives a year And in 2009, they passed the one millionth life saved by seatbelts. Now that's across all cars, all across the world, all brands. But they all used that same patent that was developed by [INAUDIBLE] for Volvo. Then giving away that patent, them being the first people to make it standard, that was that one moment That set them up on the reputation that they still have today. They've also enforced that by testing their cars harder than anyone else. I've been to Gulfenburg and watched them do a crash test, and it was a thing to behold. But there was that shining moment where they said yes Yes this is a great invention and we're gonna give it to the world for free. I'm not going to crash this into a wall but knowing that I'd be safe in it is one big aspect of it. But it's just nice to drive as well. Yeah, it's amazing. It come a long way since 240 estate that my parents had. I know that price Pretty punctually and pretty strongly, but it does feel like it justifies it. Yeah, no one turns their nose up at Volvo. Right. There's actually a very, very short-lived sitcom in the early 90s about a group of people who survived a global apocolypse. The main character Would go through and he'd find people who had also survived. And the question everyone always asked each other was, how did you survive? And his answer was Volvo. The reputation for its safety was so much that they conceivably made a character survive a nuclear apocalypse. Just by sitting inside this Volvo. I'm not sure Volvo actually present that as an actual benefit to being within this cabin. Volvo have their vision 2020. Their claim is that there will be no one dying in an accident in a Volvo by 2020. And considering it's 2018, that's pretty close. If you crash a Volvo anywhere in Sweden They send a team up from Golfenbergh within 24 hours to inspect the crash so they can learn from that and make the next generation of car better. If you have a crash in a Volvo Golfenbergh they have a team there within an hour. Doesn't necessarily help you but you can guarantee that the next car you buy from them will be safer as a result. Right. Well, thank you very much. Welcome. I'll tell you a little bit and then I guess I can drop you off here? Yeah. I mean this is kinda middle of nowhere but fair enough, it's actually one of the- Yeah. [UNKNOWN] car right now. All right, see you later. [UNKNOWN] Spread the gospel. [LAUGH] I'm not going back [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] To those people out there it probably looked like we just had an argument or something. [LAUGH] Right, get out. Fine, go on. In the middle of nowhere? You walk then, see if I care.