R&D milestones

R&D milestones

The Volvo Group builds on 90 years of corporate history defined by value-led innovation. Our commitment to quality and safety is rooted in the visionary approach of our founding fathers, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson and their aim to produce safe, high-quality vehicles.

First car in our factory

1927

The start

The first car rolls off the production line this year, the first truck a year later and the first bus was launched in 1934.

Learn more about our history
Volvo pioneered the 3-point safety belt

1959

3-point safety belt

In 1959, Volvo pioneered the 3-point safety belt that becomes an international life saver. We felt so strongly about its importance and chose not to patent the design. By sharing it, we have helped to save over 100 million lives to date.

Environmental care

1972

Environmental care

In 1972, environmental care was added as a corporate core value. We acknowledged that our products had a negative environmental impact and we were determined to do something about it. By 1976, we had introduced the 3-way catalytic converter as an effective system for reducing exhaust emissions. In the 1990s, we launched the Environmental Concept Car, Bus and Truck and the Group’s first fleet management solution.

Automatic Power Shift

1981

Automatic Power Shift

Volvo BM invents the Automatic Power Shift (APS). APS saves fuel and boosts performance by constantly selecting the right gear for the job and the current operating conditions.

Volvo Trucks launches a revolutionary new automated transmission, I-Shift

2001

Volvo I-Shift

Volvo Trucks launches a revolutionary new automated transmission, I-Shift, which was a huge success. It calculates several parameters to determine the best shift option.

Renault Infomax

2002

Renault Infomax

Renault Trucks’ vehicle management system Infomax is awarded the Siemens Prize for innovation. Infomax is a tool for measuring and analyzing fuel consumption.

The IPS, Inboard Performance System

2004

Penta IPS

A world first from Volvo Penta. The IPS, Inboard Performance System, propulsion system revolutionised the boating world. Volvo Penta IPS delivering around 35 % better efficiency at cruising speeds than inboard shafts.

I-SAM

2006

I-SAM hybrid concept

A commercially viable option for heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses on routes with frequent braking and acceleration. Delivers fuel savings of up to 35 %.

Ghent

2007

CO2-neutral trucks and plant

We are the first vehicle manufacturer to produce seven CO2-neutral demonstration trucks. The Group also presents the world’s first CO2-neutral vehicle plant, Volvo Trucks plant in Ghent, Belgium. In addition, 2010, we were the first automotive manufacturer approved to participate in WWF’s Climate Savers program.

I-See

2012

I-See

I-See reduces fuel consumption for long-distance transport. Like an autopilot system, it handles gear changes, throttle and brakes on gradients very efficiently.

Dynamic Steering

2013

Dynamic Steering

Volvo Dynamic Steering is an electronically controlled electric motor attached to the steering shaft that makes the truck driver’s job both safer and more comfortable. This is the technology behind the viral success “The Epic Split” with many millions of views on YouTube.

Dual clutch

2014

Dual clutch

Volvo Group launches the first transmission on the market with a dual clutch system for heavy vehicles. With dual clutches; gear changes take place without any interruption in power delivery.

Electric bus

2015

Electric bus

Together with partners in different sectors, we develop buses and infrastructure, on the way to an electrified bus network in Gothenburg.

Benefits include low noise, no local emissions, 99 % reduction in CO2 emissions and 80 % energy savings.

R&D and Innovations

R&D and Innovations

For us in the Volvo Group, technology means the aspiration to move forward, constantly working together to improve and do better.

R&D and Innovations
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Volvo Group History News

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