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Volvo Paints a Safer Streetscape

Thursday, April 23, 2015

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LONDON—The Swedish car maker that has built its brand on safety is thinking outside the boxy vehicle for its next improvement.

Volvo has developed LifePaint, a spray-on water-based paint that's invisible during the day and highly reflective at night. The paint was invented to stem the toll of cyclist injury and death in the UK.

(The slogan: "The best way to survive a crash is not to crash.")


Volvo has introduced a new paint that is invisible by daylight but glows in the glare of car headlights, making it  visible at night.

LifePaint—sprayed on cyclists and their gear, not on cars—is part of a Volvo safety initiative.


"Every year, more than 19,000 cyclists are injured on the UK's roads," says Nick Connor, managing director at Volvo Car UK.

Accident-Free by 2020

The transparent, non-toxic paint can be applied to any surface for a nighttime glow-in-the-dark effect, according to Grey London, a creative agency in the UK that developed the idea with Swedish startup Albedo100.

"Invisible by daylight, it glows brightly in the glare of car headlights, making the invisible visible at night," the agency says.

LifePaint can be applied to any fabric, including clothes, shoes, wheelchairs, children’s backpacks and dog leashes and collars, its producers say. It washes off and will not affect the color or surface of the material, according to Grey London.

The reflective effect fades after 10 days.

Volvo is giving away 2,000 cans of the paint in several London bike shops as a trial.

This video from Volvo LifePaint demonstrates how the paint can make cyclists glow in nighttime traffic.

The initiative is a move by Volvo to increase safety in and out of its cars. The car maker has also added Intellisafe, a pedestrian and cyclist detection system, to new vehicles.

Together, LifePaint and Intellisafe contribute towards Volvo's Vision 2020—the concept that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, the company says.

Grey London chairman/CCO Nils Leonard says the product turns vehicle safey "inside out, giving it away to the most vulnerable road users."


Tagged categories: Accidents; Automotive coatings; Coatings Technology; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Health and safety; Reflective coatings; Spray Paint

Comment from Paulus Reynolds, (4/23/2015, 3:14 AM)

Did anyone else notice that the Volvo LifePaint was launched on 1st April (April Fools Day)???

Comment from Skip Wicklund, (4/23/2015, 10:55 AM)

If it washes off then what happens when cyclist etc. are in the rain??

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