Volvo's SPA, or Scalable Product Architecture, is a modular chassis system that Volvo spent over four years developing. The first vehicle in the Volvo model lineup to see this system was the 2016 Volvo XC90. The system was developed to better accommodate its 4-cylinder strategy, the all-wheel drive system, and the large battery packs that are used for the hybrid vehicle systems.


With SPA, Volvo has made huge improvements to protect its occupants especially in worst case scenarios, where its creative features help to avoid the initial accident. The original XC90 was made with just 7% of hot-formed boron steel. The new redesigned 2016 model XC90's safety cage was created with over 40% of the boron steel. This element improves the vehicle's strength without adding mass or weight.

  SPA also includes new electrical technology that improves the vehicle's intelligence level, making it very easy to add sophisticated functions, and implement new technology. This electrical architecture consists of a network with 4 main domains which are:

  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Safety
  • Car Body
  • Infotainment

Each of the four domains can be connected to every unit in the architecture, which is something that is unique in the industry.


Benefits of Spa Technology


1) Embracing the Driver: All occupants of a SPA vehicle are supported by intelligent absorption of energy in different types of collisions. Regular safety technologies such as safety belts, pre-tensioners, whiplash protection system, airbags, and inflatable curtains are frequently being updated. SPA provides smart belt pre-tension systems to increase security before a collision. There is also a rear-facing system that detects a rear impact. Safety belts are tightened in advance to keep all passengers safe.

2) Sophisticated Strength: The new safety cage is mixed with different steel grades and has been made to be stronger and smarter. The strength of the cage was improved through the use of a significant amount more of boron steel.

3)  Crash Avoidance: Camera, radar, and sensor technologies are now detecting more objects around the car, and doing so at a faster speed. Volvo recognized the need for this technology because unintentional road departure is what causes the most deaths and serious injuries in current traffic. Another new technology that Volvo invented is the detection and auto-braking for large animals.

4) Enhancing the driving experience: The sensors in the collision-avoiding solutions are part of the extended range of features that make your drive more enjoyable. Volvo believes that when the driver is removed from stressful driving situations, that they will be able to better enjoy themselves while driving. All new models now offer Adaptive Cruise Control with steer assist and was initially introduced with the 2016 Volvo XC90. This means that Volvos automatically follow the vehicle ahead of them in slow moving traffic. SPA will be what one day incorporates autonomous technologies and even self-driving cars.

5) Seeing Around the Corner: Your Volvo's infrastructure extends the driver's theoretical field of vision with Car2Car and Car2Infrastructure technology. It makes it possible to obtain information such as road conditions, advance warnings, and detour options to avoid traffic, causing a green light wave and finding free parking!

6) Always in Touch with the World: We all want to be constantly connected to the world, even when we're driving. Sometimes our phones and technology can make a driver become distracted, but Volvo thinks that autonomous driving will play an important role. The driver will be able to enjoy autonomous and semi-autonomous driving so that they can safely focus on something else. Volvo's ultimate goal is that no one will be seriously hurt or injured by 2020.



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