Volvo EX30 endures a side impact crash test with an EX90

Before Volvo launched the EX90, the Swedish automaker — already known as a pioneer in safety — repeatedly stressed how much work it had done to raise the bar for safety in its new electric SUV. Almost every new release included lines like, "The standard safety in the Volvo EX90 is also higher than any Volvo car before it," and "The Volvo EX90 has an invisible shield of safety enabled by our latest sensing technology, inside and outside." But these focused on the car's electronic suite of sensors and cameras watching everything from the road ahead and behind to the driver's state of fatigue. The company did the same during the launch of the EX30, writing that its new compact electric vehicle protects all occupants "through state-of-the-art restraint technology, as well as top-notch structural design that fulfills our ambitious in-house safety requirements — designed to prepare our cars for various real-world scenarios."

To prove a point about the safety of the EX30, Volvo's in-house crash-test lab performed a side impact test, running its largest car, the EX90, into the side of its smallest, the EX30.

We don't get to see any interior view of the EX30 during the test or afterward. In an Automotive News Europe video about the crash and the results, Lotta Jakobsson from the Volvo Cars Safety Center says the data showed that the two "small-sized females" sitting on the struck side "were well protected" in the crash, with minimal infliction of injury.

The physical design of both cars helps make this happen. The EX30 was designed to disperse all of its forces around the structure of the car for "balanced interaction" during an event. That's pretty standard stuff. On the EX90, a piece of the lower front structure juts ahead of the vehicle's primary safety structure. As ANE Managing Editor Doug Bolduc puts it, that lower structure is "specifically designed to help it absorb a lot of the power of a crash with a smaller vehicle ... that is to not only provide protection to the passengers of the EX90 but also to provide protection to the passengers of the EX30." The result is "less damage than you might have expected from the larger car onto the smaller car."

Check out the vid and for Jakobsson's take on how current trends in structural, passive, and active safety won't rid the world of crashes, but they are reducing injuries while at the same time making crashes less common.

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