Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more


26 July 2013

A recent UK survey indicated that consumers had higher expectations for Apple or Google to deliver vehicle-safety innovations than Volvo or Mercedes. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall an app that lets you walk away from a car crash.

Commissioned by Tristan Honeywill at, the survey asked 1000 car buyers the question, “Which brand do you expect to produce the innovations that will benefit safety most in the future?” and offered Apple, Google, Volvo, and Mercedes as options in addition to a write-in slot.

Apple came in first with 21%, followed in order by Google, Volvo, and Mercedes.

This bizarre result brought to mind a couple of particularly enlightening (and entertaining…it’s the middle of summer, after all) crash tests.

The first pits a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu against a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air. Perhaps even more impressive, the second sets a late model Renault Modus against a 1990’s vintage Volvo 940.

Vehicle safety, as these crash tests show, has made enormous progress.

And the World Forum|WP.29 encapsulates where these vast improvements come from. For more than fifty years, government agencies have worked closely with automakers, suppliers, and advocacy groups to continuously improve vehicle safety within the Forum and at regional and national levels worldwide. has only been covering WP.29 since 2010, but the 6000 documents or so that we have indexed underscore just how complex this regulatory work is. “Advanced emergency braking system test requirements and pass/fail values to address pneumatic rear axle suspensions” may not sound that sexy, but such cooperation across the vehicle safety community in technologies, engineering, and research gets the job done.

So, at the risk of stating the obvious, vehicles are safer because they are built that way. Roads are safer because billions have been invested by governments and the automotive industry in research to identify causes of death and injury and to introduce countermeasures.

Lord knows, it’s not because of the iPhone.

Return to previous page