Multiple drops simulate severe crash damage
Hopes work will save accident victims worldwide
Volvo says that it’s all about safety, but we think that this time they might have been having some fun, too. The automaker dropped a handful of new cars 30 meters from a crane. Then they picked them up and did it again. And again. And again.
It hurts us to watch, but these Swedish warriors gave their automotive lives so that others may live. Volvo said that dropping the cars multiple times like this damaged them enough to simulate extreme crash damage. Like a single-car accident at high speed, or a severe hit from the side.
The point wasn’t to test how occupants fared but to damage the vehicles in a way that made it a more accurate simulation for first responders. Emergency workers know that the first hour after a crash is the most important and that getting a severely injured person to hospital in that time is crucial to their recovery. The longer it takes to get them out of the mangled metal, the longer it takes to get them to an ER.
“We have been working closely together with the Swedish rescue services for many years,” says Håkan Gustafson, a senior investigator with the Volvo Cars Traffic Accident Research Team. “That is because we have the same goal: to have safer roads for all. We hope no one ever needs to experience the most severe accidents, but not all accidents can be avoided. So it is vital there are methods to help save lives when the most severe accidents do happen.”
Volvo will collect findings from its engineers and the crash responders who did the simulated extractions and make that free to use for rescue workers around the world, helping them to do their jobs more effectively. They recorded cutting pressures, times, and methods to let other responders know what was the best way to get inside and get the driver out.
Rescue training cars are normally from scrapyards. Rusty and old tech, they’re massively different from modern vehicles, so training and information like this can, as Volvo says, mean the difference between life and death.
10 different Volvos were dropped from the crane, and each one hurts us to watch.