Volvo to limit the top speed on all its cars to 180km/h

Steven Ewing  Roadshow

Steven Ewing Roadshow

"Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be", said Volvo's Håkan Samuelsson.

For a while now, Volvo has been developing technologies that will help towards its aim that no one will die or be seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020. Volvo also did not specifically state if this change will only affect the USA, or if other global markets will have speed-limited cars, too.

Volvo referenced the limitations of technology to prevent accidents and injuries above certain speeds, citing data from the US National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration showing that 25% of road fatalities in the US in 2017 were a result of speeding. Volvo believes that controlling the speed in its models is worth it even if it can save just one life. Although speed limits exist in most countries he said that people are still exceeding those limits by a wide margin.

For some background, within the current Volvo range, the lowest top speed is 118mph, and the highest is 155mph. Now, the Swedish automaker is taking a big initiative to combat speeding, and announced Monday that it will soon limit the top speed of all its cars to 112 miles per hour.

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These systems - also known as Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology - use GPS data and traffic sign recognition cameras to determine what the speed limit is on the the road the vehicle is travelling on. Volvo safety experts say that many people do not recognize the danger of speeding or realize that once the vehicle reaches certain speeds its in-car safety technology will not prevent severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident.

"As humans, we all understand the dangers with snakes, spiders and heights". To that end, the company is also investigating whether or not it should implement "smart speed control" and geofencing technologies, which could automatically restrict a vehicle's speed in dense pedestrian areas, or near places like schools and hospitals. With speeds, not so much, ' he explained.

'We want to start a conversation about whether auto makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver´s behaviour, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction, ' said Mr. Samuelsson. 'We don't have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer'. "We need to support better behavior and help people realize and understand that speeding is risky".

While Volvo buyers often choose the brand for its safety, Samuelsson conceded that the speed cap could be a turn-off for a few in markets such as Germany, where drivers routinely travel at 200 km/h or more on unrestricted autobahns.

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