In Swedish, "safety" translates to "säkerhet," but for employees of one of Sweden's biggest employers, it might as well translate to "Volvo."
The carmaker, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China, is fiercely protective of its reputation in safety. But in an age of autonomous driving and advanced sensor technology, Volvo's top safety experts are increasingly navigating a blurry line between driving safely and being driven.
"We're very focused that you as a driver know that you're in charge, [and] not giving you so much support that you question who's in charge," said Malin Ekholm, director of the Car Safety Center at Volvo Cars headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. "It's nudging rather than giving the feeling of taking over."
With a bevy of new tools to ensure passenger safety, the carmaker's safety strategy is shifting from passenger protection to accident prediction and avoidance, Ekholm said.