When the Volvo Safety Concept Car debuted in 2001, it featured a series of technologically-advanced safety features designed to help prevent accidents. Nearly ten years later, Volvo looks back on the SCC concept with pride, as many of its once-futuristic safety features have become realities in the automaker's current production cars.
Upon its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, the SCC generated massive media and public interest, thanks to active safety features designed to help prevent collisions. Prior to the SCC's launch, automakers focused on protecting occupants in the event of a collision, with little regard for trying to prevent accidents from happening at all. Volvo says the SCC helped change that.
"The SCC signaled the start of a new approach which enhanced safety for the occupants, where the car's most important safety task is to help avoid dangerous situations and accidents in the first place," said Osten Strandberg, who was responsible for the development of the SCC. "With the drivable Safety Concept Car, we showed the all these smart, collision-preventive technological solutions were within reach."
According to Volvo, around 15 of the advanced safety features found in the SCC have found their way into production. Examples include Lane Departure Warning with Driver Alert, which audibly and visually alert drivers when straying from a lane, Adaptive Cruise Control, which maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front, Blind Spot Information System, which actively monitors blind spots, and Emergency Brake Lights, which flash during hard braking.
Unfortunately, not all of the SCC's advanced safety features have found their way into cars yet. One of the concept car's most distinctive and memorable features, see-through A-pillars designed to improve visibility, had to be scrapped due to issues with their strength, build complexity and cost. But according to Volvo, the SCC influenced more than just automotive safety: the automaker says the concept car also inspired the lines for its C30 hatchback, which debuted for 2008.
"When the Volvo SCC was unveiled, it was packed with sensational technology," said Mikael Edvarsson, one of the engineers responsible for the technology integrated into the Safety Concept Car. "Bearing in mind the interest of the car-buying public in active safety systems today, it's easy to see that the concept car was way ahead of its time."