Volvo's New SPA Modular Platform to Integrate Safety Tech

Starting with the 2015 Volvo XC90, all future midsize and large Volvo models will ride on a new modular platform that the company is calling a Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Volvo is now releasing more details about this platform, saying that it will feature a new electrical system which allows for easier and more integrated implementations of future safety technologies.

The new platform includes an electrical network that centers around four areas: vehicle dynamics, safety, car body, and infotainment. “Each master can be connected to every single unit in the whole architecture. This means that we have one single nerve system with full control over all the connections in the vehicle,” Volvo senior vice president of Research and Development Peter Mertens said in a statement.”

This should mean that Volvo will easily be able to add safety technologies as they develop over time like various sensors, cameras, and radar technologies that are able to sense the environment surrounding the car. Given Volvo’s recent commitment to test autonomous cars on the road by 2017, we expect that vehicles on the SPA platform will play a significant role in this development. We already know about three new active safety features set to debut on the 2015 XC90, including an updated pedestrian detection system, an active steering correction feature, and an enhanced adaptive cruise control system that can follow lane markings using cameras and other sensors.

All of these technologies go towards Volvo’s goal of having no serious injuries or deaths occur in any Volvo by 2020. This may sound ambitious, but Volvo says that a Swedish study recently proved that modern Volvos have a 60 percent lower injury rate compared to the average vehicle in Sweden.

Look for the 2015 Volvo XC90 to debut sometime next year, with other future Volvo models on the SPA platform to follow.

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