Volvo is taking a drastic step towards increasing safety in its vehicles. Starting from next year, all new cars of the Swedish brand will be limited from factory to a top speed of 112 miles per hour (180 kilometers per hour).
The automaker explains this safety measure is part of its Vision 2020 strategy, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo car by 2020. Described as “one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry,” Vision 2020 now expands its reach outside the in-car safety and assist technologies to include a focus on driver's behavior.
That’s necessary, Volvo says, because above certain speeds safety tech is no longer able to prevent severe injuries and fatalities if an accident happens. The manufacturer estimates that roughly 25 percent of all road deaths are caused by speeding.
“Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo, comments. "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.”
Another measure Volvo is investigating is a system that combines smart speed control and geofencing technology to automatically restrict speed in school and hospital areas. In addition to speeding, Volvo also recognizes intoxication and distraction as the two other major safety problems and plans to present ideas to tackle them too.
“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,” Samuelsson adds. “We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”