Volvo has opened a new traffic accident research centre in China to collect more data on crashes.
The manufacturer already gathers information on crashes in Sweden, the US and Thailand to incorporate into the development of its cars.
Opening the centre in the burgeoning economy of China will provide Volvo with far more information to study at its headquarters in Gothenburg. Figures show that more than 100,000 people are killed in traffic accidents in China each year, compared with around 3500 in the UK.
Volvo boss Fredrik Arp said of the company's accident research: 'In recent years we have focused on what happens during the final few seconds before the accident actually takes place.
'This has created better potential for devising preventative systems that help our customers avoid accidents in the first place.'
New systems now in use on Volvo cars include a collision detection system that alerts the driver to a potential crash and primes the brakes for shorter stopping distances.
The company also credits its accident research efforts, and 40,000-strong database of crashes, for the development of deformable steering wheels and three-point seatbelts.
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