Safety First

Volvo, Uber proclaim today as first National Seat Belt Day

Volvo invented the three-point safety harness in 1959, 60 years ago.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Do you always buckle up when you're in a car? What about in a taxi or Uber? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, four out of five adults say they don't always use a seat belt when taking short trips or when in the backseat of a taxi or ride-share vehicle.

Volvo Car USA, Uber, and the Governors Highway Safety Association have joined together to proclaim November 14 as National Seatbelt Day, in an effort to bring awareness to the benefits that seats belts provide.

"The safety belt is still among the most important safety features in the car today," said, Jim Nichols, Product and Technology Communications Manager, Volvo Car USA. "We are proud that the three-point safety belt has endured over the years and is now featured in every vehicle sold."

60th Anniversary of the Seat Belt ad Volvo, Uber, and GHSA are using this ad to help make riders aware of the benefits of using a safety belt.Image courtesy of Volvo Car USA

The three-point safety belt was launched by Volvo in 1959 and celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Volvo estimates that the belt has saved a million lives since it debuted but notes that, " its effectiveness is only as good as its use."

In 2018 the rate of seat belt use in the U.S. was 89.6%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47% were not wearing seat belts. NHTSA research indicates that buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.

It's important to remember that air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. Safety belts and air bags, as well as modern safety and driver assistance technologies and strong frame materials, are all part of a modern safety system that works together to keep vehicle occupants safe.

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A new short film by Koenigsegg features the Regera super car.

Photo courtesy of Koenigsegg

It's not coming to a theater near you, but you can watch it on YouTube. Koenigsegg has released its first featurette, starring none other than the Regera super car.

The Regera is a hybrid that combines the power of a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 engine with three electric motors. It achieves 1500 horsepower. The car doesn't have a traditional gearbox, instead relying on hydraulic coupling. Because of this, at speeds under 30 mph, the Regera leans on its electric motors for power. Above 30 mph, the car car utilizes its V8, taking off in a mad dash when the accelerator is push to the ground.

It can get from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. From a standstill to 249 mph takes less than 20 seconds. Those numbers make the car the fastest accelerating car in the world. Maximum speed is electronically restricted to 255 mph.

"Time to Reign: A Koenigsegg Mini Blockbuster" was scripted and produced almost entirely in-house. It's a heist story filmed in 4K with a covert operation, evil accomplices, and a delightfully stereotypical absentminded guard.

Its cast is made up of members of the Koenigsegg team. The film features company founder Christian von Koenigsegg and his Regera in a starring role alongside designer Marcelle Roeli, marketing and event coordinator Christina Nordin, and customer and loyalty coordinator Kirsi Kärkkäinen. Other Koenigsegg personnel serve in supporting roles, including Gustav Nisson, a company assistant whose dance moves play a prominent role in the story line.

Mrs. Koenigsegg herself, Halldora von Koenigsegg, who serves as the company's COO, makes an appearance at the end.

The quick film, which runs nearly 12 minutes including the credits, is available to watch below.

Time to Reign: A Koenigsegg Mini Blockbuster www.youtube.com

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Volvo has updated the Volvo on Call app for PHEV and EV drivers.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Volvo has improved the Volvo on Call smartphone app to increase its functionality regarding plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV). The enhancements are available in all Volvo on Call markets.

The app now allows drivers to see how much distance they have driven in fully electric model and view their electricity and fuel consumption, in addition to other metrics. Later this year the service will also give users the ability to see the impact of their driving on their CO2 footprint, as well as the estimated fuel costs saved by driving in fully electric mode.

Volvo on Call app The Volvo on Call app now has added functionality.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

"We want the Volvo On Call app to make life easier for you as a user and create a more personal experience," said Ödgärd Andersson, chief digital officer. "As the car becomes ever more connected, the potential of the app increases and we intend over time for the app to be as much a part of the Volvo as the car itself."

For applicable Volvo Recharge models, bought during the offer period, the app will also inform drivers on the status of the electricity refund that launched last year (varies by market).

Volvo Recharge refers to all Volvo brand PHEV and EV vehicles.

All Volvo one Call functionalities are available for all Volvo PHEV models built and sold by the company after 2015 in the 47 countries where Volvo on call operates. In China, functionalities similar to the app's capabilities will be added to the WeChat platform.

Volvo XC40 Recharge side plug Volvo has launched the XC40 Recharge as its first mass market battery electric vehicle. Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

"Just like a step counter helps people exercise more, I believe that by giving people better insight into their driving patterns, it will help them to drive in a more sustainable way," said Björn Annwall, head of EMEA at Volvo Cars. "We see plug-in hybrids as 'part time electric cars' that encourage changes in people's behavior and help pave the way for a transition towards fully electric cars."

Volvo is currently the leader in PHEV sales, which comprise nearly 25 percent of all sales in Europe. The automaker is planning to make 50 percent of its global sales EVs by 2025 with the rest hybrid models. Its first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge P8, will go into production later this year in Ghent, Belgium.

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