The Year: 1996 – The birth of Google, Dolly the sheep and Kasparov losing a game of chess to a computer
1996 was the year Volvo Trucks first introduced its Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS), which was designedto significantly reduce the risk of a car becoming wedged under the front of a truck in a head-on collision.
Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS) – protecting other road users
1996 was the year Volvo Trucks first introduced its Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS), which was designed to significantly reduce the risk of a car becoming wedged under the front of a truck in a head-on collision.
According to Volvo Trucks’ European Accident Research and Safety Report (2013), 55-65 per cent of those killed or seriously injured in heavy truck accidents are car occupants, and about 65 per cent of collisions between trucks and cars involve the front of the truck. Due to the difference in size and height, car occupants are particularly at risk and often injured due to major deformation of the car compartment.
FUPS consists of an underrun protection beam, which serves as a 200 mm deep crumple zone. In the event of a collision, this reduces the truck’s penetration into the car’s compartment. Since the truck’s bumper is situated on the same level as that of a typical car bumper, the deformation zone of the car is better utilised.
Today FUPS is fitted in all Volvo FHs and Volvo FMs, making Volvo Trucks the only manufacturer to offer an integrated energy-absorbing underrun protection system as standard.
The birth of Google, Dolly the sheep, and Kasparov losing a game of chess to a computer
In 1996, the internet and mobile phones were still in their infancy but were making great strides towards becoming the essential parts of our daily lives they are today. The Motorola StarTAC was launched, which at the time was the world’s smallest mobile phone and one of the first phones to gain mainstream appeal. Meanwhile Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two PhD students developed PageRank, an algorithm used to rank websites in search engine results. A year later they launched Google and PageRank continues to be the basis of Google’s web search tools.
1996 was also the year that the chess-playing computer Deep Blue made history after defeating world champion Garry Kasparov, and General Motors launched the world’s first mass-produced electric car, the EV1.
In another world-first, Dolly the sheep – the first successful clone of a mammal – was born at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. The breakthrough paved the way for further cloning of other larger animals, and scientists across the world continue to explore the possibilities of using cloning to preserve endangered species.