Volvo is making it abundantly clear that vehicle safety is one of its main priorities.
The Swedish automaker announced that it will cap the top speed of all its vehicles to 112mph (180 kph) from 2020.
“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.”
Volvo said that in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are not enough to prevent severe injuries at high speeds. While speed limits are enforced in most Western countries, Volvo noted that speeding is still pervasive and one of the most common reasons for fatalities in traffic.
A quarter of all traffic fatalities in the US in 2017 were caused by speeding, according to data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
Jan Ivarsson, one of Volvo Cars’ leading safety experts, said:
“As humans, we all understand the dangers with snakes, spiders and heights. With speeds, not so much.
“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. We need to support better behaviour and help people realise and understand that speeding is dangerous.”
Volvo said that it’s also looking into the combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology to automatically limit speeds 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.”