Automotive

Safety first: Volvo plans to limit top speed on all its cars by 2020

Safety first: Volvo plans to l...
As part of Volvo's Vision 2020 initiative, the company plans to limit the top speed for all new cars to 180 km/h
As part of Volvo's Vision 2020 initiative, the company plans to limit the top speed for all new cars to 180 km/h
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As part of Volvo's Vision 2020 initiative, the company plans to limit the top speed for all new cars to 180 km/h
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As part of Volvo's Vision 2020 initiative, the company plans to limit the top speed for all new cars to 180 km/h

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. But the Swedish auto maker says that technology can only go so far, and is now broadening the scope of its safety initiative, by imposing a speed limit on all its vehicles – albeit a 112 mph top speed.

Technology so far developed by Volvo to meet its ambitious safety aims includes self-driving support systems, connected cars, an all-around view system and even a reflective spray for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be," said Volvo's Håkan Samuelsson. "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 company says that in-car safety systems and smart infrastructure design can only go so far, and that despite speed restrictions being in place in most western countries, one of the most common reasons for traffic fatalities is speeding – pointing to National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration stats which show that 25 percent of traffic deaths in the US during 2017 were caused by speeding.

From next year, new Volvos won't be able to exceed 180 km/h (112 mph). The company is also looking into using smart speed control and geofencing technology to automatically slow down cars around schools and hospitals.

"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 behavior, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction," continued Samuelsson. "We don't have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer."

Volvo will announce its ideas for tackling the problems of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and for nixing driver distractions, at a special safety event in Gothenburg, Sweden, on March 20.

Source: Volvo

10 comments
Alien
Laudable...possibly...but how many accidents were caused by cars travelling in excess of 112mph? Extremely few, I suspect. So is this really more of a PR exercise?
IntelDev
OK, Volvo officially came of my list of potential vehicles to purchase.
Nobody
Making a safer car is one thing but going overboard on controlling drivers options is going too far. The electronics in cars have already gone too far when it comes to recording your driving. Big business and government keep increasing their surveillance on us and limiting our freedoms. Their are few accidents at over 112mph. Speed isn't the danger, it's where people speed. I recently spent the afternoon driving at speeds up to 148 mph on the local race track.
zr2s10
Yeah, definitely PR exercise, but stupid. Lots of manufacturers have done this. And I also doubt 112 mph limit is slow enough to prevent anything. My last 2 trucks were speed limited to 99 mph. Don't ask how I know.
paul314
It's a good start to the conversation. All those ridiculous top speeds may make some buyers feel more macho, but they're unlikely to get used off a track unless someone is intoxicated or suicidal. If they're going to geofence (and I have mixed feelings about that) speed limiting might be good for certain interesting stretches of road. There's a place just outside here known as "dead man's curve" for a reason.
Douglas E Knapp
Allen, you are in the US then? I live in Germany and drive 100 MPH everyday. I get passed like I was sitting still on a regular basis. And it is legal.
Aleksandra Wladyczynska
Maximum speed may also have something to do with their planned shift to electric cars. Those cars mostly don't have high top speeds.
flyerfly
Just think...from an engineering point of view. If you limit the speeds you limit the stresses etc etc. and you can make the vehicle "weaker"/cheaper because it no longer needs to perform as much...so if you go faster than this and crash they just say..."you exceeded the design parameters". You really think they CARE about your safety? Nope it is economics and they are thinking of EVERY way they can get a few more $$ out of the deal. I crossed Volvo off my list a few years ago. I made a good choice then and don't have to make it again.
noteugene
I can tell you what brand name car I WON'T be buying.
Majki
This is ridiculous, which roads and traffic rules allow you to drive anything close to 112 mph (180 kph)? This is laughable :))))) Even autobahn - maximum speed limit is 130 kph (81 mph) while only some rural sections don't have posted limits, so i think 180 kph is more than enough....