EL SEGUNDO, CA - Swedish automaker Volvo remains the worldwide leader in deployment of vehicle safety systems in the United States for the 2009 model-year, with an average of five per car, according to iSuppli Corp.

"Volvo has always distinguished itself in terms of safety, with the company offering ruggedly-built cars that place the top priority on protecting drivers and passengers," said Phil Magney, vice president of automotive research for iSuppli. "However, Volvo in recent years has taken the lead in employing safety technologies beyond the physical design and construction of their cars."

Safety systems accounted for in the iSuppli ranking are parking assist, adaptive cruise control, driver monitoring, electronic stability control, night vision, head-up display, passive and active "eco" functions, blind-spot detection, and lane-departure warning. Many of these technologies fall into the category of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS)

Volvo's average of five systems per car in the United States gave it the No. 1 position in safety technology deployment in the 2009 model-year, up from 4.7 for 2008. Close behind in second place was Infiniti with an average of 4.2 safety systems per car model, up from four during the 2008 model-year.

Beyond overall leadership, Volvo was the only car maker to have more than one 2009 model with eight safety systems. Among the four Volvo models so equipped was the new XC60, a compact crossover SUV.

The vehicles with the largest number of available safety systems-tied at eight each-were the BMW 7 Series and the Volvo XC60, S80, V70, and XC70.

"Luxury automotive brands increasingly are turning to driver assist technologies designed to enhance passenger safety to distinguish their vehicles from competitors," Magney said.

After Volvo and Infiniti, Audi, Cadillac and BMW rounded out the top five brands for the 2009 model-year in the United States based on the breadth of per-model safety system deployment.]

"In the current economy we expect car buyers to be more practical about their option selections and driver assist technologies designed to enhance safety are second only to fuel economy concerns," said Phil Magney, vice president of automotive research for iSuppli. "The proliferation of low-cost and reliable cameras and sensors for vehicle applications is helping to make driving safer."