All new Volvo models will be fitted with a 112 mph top speed limiter (180km/h) from 2020 onwards, as part of the company’s Vision 2020 safety campaign.
The Swedish automaker aims to have zero fatalities or seriously injuries onboard their cars by 2020, an arguably ambitious goal. In order to achieve its target, Volvo says that no matter how broad the advances in technology, they need to include a focus on driver behavior into the equation.
“Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “Because of our research we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars. And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”
The top speed limit is just the first step of the many to come, as Volvo is also investigating the benefits of a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology in order to automatically limit a vehicle’s speed around schools and hospitals in the future.
“We want to start a conversation about whether car 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.”
Traffic accident data shows that speeding is the cause of 25 percent of all traffic fatalities in the US during 2017, according to NHTSA.
“People often drive too fast in a given traffic situation and have poor speed adaption in relation to that traffic situation and their own capabilities as a driver,” said Jan Ivarsson, one of Volvo Cars’ leading safety experts. “We need to support better behaviour and help people realise and understand that speeding is dangerous.”
Volvo will also take precaution measures against other safety issues in the future, including intoxication and distraction; these two problems are also major causes of traffic fatalities and the company is going to present its ideas for tackling them at a special safety event on March 20.