VOLVO X Barbara Davidson

Jul 27, 2017 by

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Leading Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has teamed up with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer 



Many of us are familiar with the household name of Volvo, the renowned reliability, and security of this leading car manufacturer. You may also have heard of Barbara Davidson, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photo journalist, known for her story telling and her ability to connect with her subject. 


The two have teamed up to capture a world-first, never seen before, photographic collection, using the onboard safety cameras of the new Volvo XC60.


This is the first time a car has been used by a photographer as a camera. The inspired collection captures life on the streets of the Danish capital Copenhagen from a truly unique and fresh perspective. The collaborative photographs were first exhibited at Canvas Studios gallery in London’s Shoreditch and the exhibition is due to travel to other countries during 2017.



“The collection does two things. Firstly it is a snapshot of European city life in all its glory; secondly, it also highlights the complex environments that we live in. It is thanks to the cameras and other on board sensors that cars like the Volvo XC60 make modern city life safer for pedestrians and other road users,” said Davidson. “With this project, we connect art and safety for people to see the benefits of this technology.” 


Davidson, not only a multiple Pulitzer Prize-winner, is also a holder of an Emmy Award and a former staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times newspaper. Her choice to work with Volvo Cars, was based on her own history with the brand. Hear more from Davidson and her story below. 


“I have a very personal connection with Volvo Cars. When I was a teenager I was involved in a serious road accident where the car flipped over which, in normal circumstances, would probably have proven fatal. I was told later that I had survived because of the car I had been travelling in – a Volvo,” said Barbara Davidson.


Something we may not all be aware of is that over 1.2 million people die each year in road accidents around the globe. Volvo’s approach to road safety is focused on real-life traffic situations which the company has studied for over 40 years. With this matchless set of real-world data Volvo’s safety engineers have set about systematically working to mitigate or eliminate potential life-threatening accidents.


In 2008 the Swedish brand launched the first standard autonomous emergency braking system, City Safety, in the first XC60. It has been shown to have reduced collisions by up to 45% in Sweden alone.


“We take a realistic and practical approach to safety at Volvo Cars. Our vision is to reach a point in time where no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car. We call it Vision 2020,” said Malin Ekholm, Vice President of Volvo Cars Safety Centre.


 Volvo Cars’ new XC60 was launched with three new safety features that work to assist the driver by delivering steering support when required. Steer Assist has been added to the ground-breaking City Safety system. A new safety system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation uses steer assist to help mitigate head-on collisions, while Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) now uses Steer Assist functionality to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions, making the new XC60 one of the safest SUVs available today.


The collection is certainly a great tribute to not only the unique safety features of the new smart camera, but also the real people, real risk analysis. It would only be fitting to celebrate this admirable safety feature, with an unseen exhibition.