Volvo’s house detectives, the Car Accident Research Team, a.k.a. Crash Scene Investigators (CSI), have been assessing accidents involving Volvo cars for 50 years.
Since 1970, whenever a Volvo has been involved in a shunt in Sweden the team has been dispatched to the scene to discover the cause and assess the damage. The CSI group studies police reports, interviews drivers, looks at medical records, and even brings in behavioral scientists.
The team visits up to 50 accident scenes in Sweden every year and collects data from many more around the world. Since its formation the research team has analyzed data from more than 40,000 cars and 70,000 passengers.
Volvo is well-known as a safety pioneer, introducing the three-point seatbelt in 1959 and subsequently sharing the design with the automotive world. More recently Volvo announced its EVA (Equal Vehicles for All) initiative. Most car companies only test their safety features with male crash test dummies, but since 1995 Volvo has also used female dummies. In 2019 Volvo made this test data freely available to everyone, just like it did with the seatbelt over 60 years ago.
Volvo says its ultimate goal is to reduce road deaths to zero. Of course that might make the CSI team redundant, but that’s a risk they’re willing to take.