Volvo’s Robocoaster Crash Simulator

by Kenny Hoeschen

Volvo is certainly well known for emphasizing the safety of their vehicles, but part of being at the leading edge of automotive safety requires that Volvo continually improves its safety programs and testing techniques. One piece of equipment that was developed by the company was conceived by Volvo Cars’ safety expert Anders Axelson, who got the idea during a trip to an amusement park. Inspired by a ride called the “Robocoaster,” Axelson could see how a similar device could be used to recreate crash scenarios especially those encountered when a car runs off the road.

Working with an industrial robot manufacturer, Axelson created a robot that could mimic the exact movement patterns recorded by Volvo cars during off-road crash tests. That enabled safety engineers to closely observe the affects on the vehicle occupants during the simulated crashes. The result is greater safety for Volvo passengers and, perhaps, a new private amusement ride for Volvo safety personnel.

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