Volvos coaches first with a front underrun protection system

Volvo Buses is now taking another step to increase traffic safety. The company is the first bus manufacturer in the world to use a front underrun protection system to reduce the risk of serious injuries in collisions with passenger cars.

The Volvo brand is the brand that is most linked to safety. The reason is that since its founding in 1927 one of the most important goals of the company has been to make motor vehicles as safe as possible in traffic.

Many of the safety solutions in use today were first introduced by Volvo. Thanks to the scale of the combined resources of the Volvo Group and Volvo Car Corporation, the companies can invest heavily in research and development on traffic safety.

Two years ago, Volvo Buses was the first to launch FIP (Front Impact Protection), a reinforced front that increases protection for the driver and guide in a front-end collision. Currently, there are no EU requirements regarding the amount of energy the front of a bus must withstand. However, there is a standard for trucks and Volvo Buses’ FIP withstands energy amounts that exceed the truck requirement by 50%.

This year, Volvo Buses is the first to introduce a front underrun protection system, FUPS, which will be standard equipment on the Volvo 9700 and Volvo 9900 coach models.

 “We know that in frontal collisions between coaches and cars, it is the driver and the passengers in the car that run the greatest risk of injury,” says Bertil Forslund, Safety Director at Volvo Buses. “A key reason for this is that the car risks being wedged under the coach and, consequently, the car’s deformation zones do not work.”

The FUPS comprises a steel element behind the bus’s forward bumper, which prevents the car from being wedged under the bus. Accordingly, in the event of a collision, the car’s own deformation zones are used and the impact energy is also abated by a special design feature in the bus’s underrun protection that absorbs energy by deforming. 

In addition to the protection offered to the driver and passengers in the car, the FUPS also provides protection for the bus’s lower front-end components.

Volvo Buses is also taking another step to increase safety for the driver in a collision. If the driver is not wearing a seatbelt or the front is heavily crushed inward, there is a risk that the driver’s knees hit the area around the steering wheel, with consequent injury. The company’s engineers have studied this area and created deformation zones.

“There is a design element behind the panels that deforms and absorbs the impact energy that would otherwise cause injury to the driver’s knees and thigh bones,” says Bertil Forslund.


 September 19, 2006

For further information, please contact Bertil Forslund, safety manager +46 70 966 78 65 or Per-Martin Johansson, press officer, +46 31 322 52 00                                      per-martin.johansson@volvo.com