When you think about it, modern cars--fitted with cameras, lights, tripods (quadrupods, actually), and giant viewfinders--are pretty much ideally set up for taking pictures. So that’s exactly what Volvo has done.

The Swedish, safety-obsessed brand, handed its XC60 over to Barbara Davidson , a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer .


Davidson’s own story involves Volvo in an important way. As a child, she was involved in a rollover, and escaped with her life, thanks to the Volvo she was in.

While rollover safety is one thing, Volvo is trying to reduce the incidence of accidents by adding cameras to its cars to help monitor traffic, pedestrians, and other hazards. That has led to cameras good enough to take breathtaking photos.



“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,” said Davidson. “With this project, we connect art and safety for people to see the benefits of this technology.”

According to Davidson, using the XC60 was pretty much exactly like using a camera. She set up in much the same way that she would have if she’d been using a traditional camera.

Davidson’s project with Volvo has led to a collection of 30 photos that were first exhibited at Canvas Studios gallery in London this week. From there it will move on to other countries over the course of the year.