Back in the beginning of the previous decade, the “safety sells” moniker was extensively used throughout the industry, in Europe, after the first cars began to be awarded the maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash ratings. First came the Swedes and the French, and soon enough everybody followed, and the results really show today, as all cars have airbags, antilock brakes, stability and traction control plus a new array of active features that brake and steer their way out of trouble.
However, not all German manufacturers had incorporated this obsession with safety into their engineering and design philosophy at the time, and as a result, they began lagging behind certain competitors. Now, the discrepancy is far smaller, and it has actually been turned around as per a few examples. Proof of this are announcements like the one VW has just made, regarding its Vision Zero ideal.
Its goal is to push VW to “innovative driver assistance systems,” and reach goals like “improved perception of the vehicle surroundings and events in traffic, assisting the driver in challenging traffic situations, improving the safety of vehicle occupants and others in traffic and avoiding accidents and serious injuries.”
Here, there’s no specific end goal, like Volvo has, but the emphasis on safety is always welcome, and because VW is a really big player, them concentrating on these matters will push the whole industry forward. That’s a good thing because it will nudge the development of these smart new ideas, as the more manufacturers are in on the scheme, the quicker the benefits will become apparent.
Currently, VW’s list of safety-oriented innovations stands as follows: Park Assist 3, Remote control parking, Trailer Assist, Area View: 2nd generation, Emergency Assist, Construction site assistant, Blind Spot Monitor, CAR2X safety, City Emergency Braking and PreCrash occupant protection system. The selection of ads and official videos we've posted below features some of them.
By Andrei Nedelea