30 meters down - a spectacular film from Volvo

Let the new car fall 30 meters! That sounds crazy and spectacular. But what Volvo does has a serious background. It's about accident research and the behavior of modern vehicles in accidents at very high speeds. For this, the manufacturer in Sweden has now wrecked 10 new cars.

Volvo crashed - 30 meters down
Volvo crashed - 30 meters down

Testing for Survival

For a special purpose. Emergency services usually practice with vehicles from the junkyard. For reasons of cost, and not only in Sweden, savings are made here at the wrong end. Older cars inherently have a softer structure and can only be compared with modern vehicles to a limited extent. Sometimes there are worlds between a junkyard car that is 20 years old and a current design.

Current Volvos are increasingly using high-strength steels that were not available in their predecessors. For the rescue workers and their tools, they present new challenges. Because the time factor counts, and being able to rescue an injured person as quickly as possible can make the difference between life and death.

Seen in this light, 10 new cars are a low price for accident research. With the drop from a height of 30 meters, the accident researchers simulate front, side and rear crash scenarios in an impressive way. The results obtained flow into the research and are made available to emergency services. So that the rescue proceeds as quickly as possible in the event of an accident.

The scenes in the film are spectacular. They can be thought-provoking. Above all about the speed you choose and whether more than the recommended motorway speed might not be too much. Especially when you are driving a Swedish car, but not one that is so modern.

And you can compare what has moved the last few decades. One historical film on the blog shows how a Saab 9000 behaves when it falls from a crane. 24 years later, new Volvos fall from great heights and the progress is evident.

Still, one thing becomes clear. Whether it's an older car or the latest technology. Once you've seen the pictures, you don't want to be involved in an accident at high speed for any price in the world. Being cautious and traveling at a suitable speed is easy on the environment and on your nerves. And is the safest way to drive a car.

Once this has been recognized, the film and its images have achieved their intended purpose.

Video and images: Volvo Cars

6 thoughts on "30 meters down - a spectacular film from Volvo"

  • @ StF,

    as always a valid contribution. Thanks for the information and suggestions.
    The fact that forces from oncoming vehicles are ideally evenly distributed between both, was already reflected in my comment.

    Unfortunately, the reality of 99,999% of all accidents is different. It is very unlikely that two identical Volvos with 2% coverage will collide head-on, even in S.

    And when it comes to rotation - around whichever axis - such a crane is particularly gracious. You can clearly see in the video how the cars “roll” in different directions and transfer forces from the front to the side or the roof. It reminds me of Aikido and other training ...

    That was exactly my point. A fall from 30m is so spectacular that, after watching the video, you fall on your knees in front of the Volvo cars shown ...

    They always seem to have enough passenger cell and survival space in every situation - be it front, rear or side. At the same time, we didn't even see what would really happen if one of these spectacularly stable Volvos simply crashed into a tree at 80 without being able to roll off.

    Speaking of the side, you can clearly see how the Volvo bends over the flat concrete block and, with its axles and fenders, practically picks up the mat.
    Also Aikido and very effective for the public. In a real crash, cars or trucks coming from the side would certainly have penetrated deeper,

  • A note on speed

    You have to be careful with the speeds, an impact at 80 km / h on an unyielding block is the simulation of a collision between two 'identical' vehicles that are driving directly into each other, each at 80 km / h, i.e. with a relative speed of 160 km / h.
    This is because with two 'identical' (actually mirrored) vehicles that collide with each other at the same speed and with perfect overlap (100%) without angular offset, the forces acting against each other are always the same and thus cancel each other out, at least then, if the reflected vehicles also deform absolutely identically with the same loads.

    And while I'm at it, one more note about coverage. Admittedly, 100% coverage is the ideal case for the body because all load paths are activated equally. And that's all you can see in the video. But actually it's about occupant safety and 100% coverage means hard work for the frontal occupant protection systems (belts and front airbags).
    In the event of a crash with less overlap, the vehicles begin to rotate around their vertical axes and the loads are distributed between the side and front occupant protection systems.
    For this reason, the attempt with 100% coverage has meanwhile also been included in the EuroNCAP program.

  • Speed

    What you see is almost everyday life - just without blood and other operating fluids. That saved people and the environment in this test.

    As spectacular as the height of fall, so banal is the speed. In a vacuum it would be 87 km / h, in the test it should have been around 80 - with gracious 100% coverage.

    Depending on the crash test, manufacturers and accident researchers put more demands on cars. For example, when 2 cars are sent frontally against each other and then offset with only 50% coverage.

    But it is really spectacular in reality. Even on country roads up to 300 km / h can be achieved with little coverage. Fire brigade and police sometimes find parts of motorcycles in the trunk - after a frontal crash, mind you ...

    I think Tom's conclusion is good and correct. People and their behavior are the decisive factors. I have doubts about whether the video, Volvo and its Chinese owners really wanted to demonstrate exactly that ...

    First and foremost, it was certainly about making Volvo look good. And it succeeded. With a spectacular 30m drop, who thinks that a real crash in city traffic could be significantly worse?

    As I said, 100% coverage is very gracious. And oncoming vehicles reach 80 km / h in total even in a 30 km / h zone. But then you also have 2 crumple zones (if there are 2 cars), you have to admit to be fair.

    Still, it's not meant badly, but the bottom line is that I've seen good marketing.

  • Were there any plug-in hybrids?

    • Good (and above all exciting) question, but there is no information from Volvo on that.

  • Really hard impressive! These films should be shown to shovers who annoyingly want to dock onto my Swedish tin. Great - again a look beyond our Saab plate into the present.

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