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No accidents by 2020

The research project Non-Hit Car & Truck (NHCT) was started to contribute to Volvo’s Vision 2020 which states that no one will be killed or severely injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020. The 2020 vision started a whole new era of technology development and includes developing both passive and active safety systems.

The Project

The project was set up to carry out research in the area of sensor fusion and investigating the possibilities of creating a 360° view around the vehicle. The project’s goal was also to create a manoeuvre generator to calculate the best escape route for avoiding accidents.

Experts in Active Safety

ÅF has 75 skilled engineers and experts in the active safety area and saw the NHCT project as a great opportunity for participating in the research of future technology, which will be used to save lives, minimizing severe injuries and creating a safer community for both pedestrians and drivers. The output of the project will all contribute to Vision 2020. The unique collaboration between the industry, the academy and other service providers that together contribute to the research, was also one of the reasons why ÅF saw this project as a significant opportunity to strengthen the active safety area in Sweden with its expert knowledge in this sector. ÅF quickly became the leading partner in developing a new platform for sensor fusion and also for a completely new concept of testing and simulating traffic scenarios involving active safety.


The research budget was set at around 80 MSEK, where 54% of the total budget was financed by VINNOVA and 46% was invested from the service providers, industry and the academy. ÅF has invested almost 15,000 hours of research in the project. ÅF has now taken an even bigger step in becoming the leading consultant firm in developing active safety, which is one of ÅF’s focus areas. Active safety is constantly evolving and will keep expanding exponentially due to the greater complexity of functions and sensors.

One of the major benefits from the research carried out by ÅF, has been the creation of the sensor fusion platform. This will make it possible to easily switch between different sensors and sensor suppliers to create opportunities for the OEMs to always use the best sensors available on the market. ÅF also made it possible to create an accurate 360° view all around the vehicle, using the new sensor fusion platform and advanced sensor technology. The many hours of research by ÅF also led to the development of a revolutionizing testing method for active safety systems using something called “fake targets” in a real-time vehicle environment. Methods and ways of creating critical collision scenarios until now have been unimaginable due to the high injury risk and damage to expensive test equipment. Several new sensor technologies were evaluated and developed during the projects to set and test equipment for the sensors.

Next step in the industry

Autonomous drive or self-driving cars is the next major step in the automotive industry and the research from the NHCT project will be used in creating and developing the first generation of autonomous vehicles. Autonomous drive is also an area where ÅF is investing a lot in developing skills and it has leading expertise in the sector. ÅF has several ongoing assignments for Volvo Car Corporation in Autonomous and Automated Drive, including the Drive Me project, where the goal is to have 100 self-driving cars in Gothenburg by 2017.

ÅF’s part in the project has placed it as the leading consultant firm in the active safety area and sensor fusion technology. The sensor fusion platform will create opportunities for new research and future innovations. This will contribute to making Sweden the leading exporter of automotive safety around the world.

Services involved