Volvo Cars has announced that from 2020, it will limit the top speed on all its cars to 112mph (180km/h) to highlight the dangers of speeding.
The driver behavior-focused initiative is in line with the company’s Vision 2020 initiative, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
Research by Volvo Cars has identified three remaining safety concerns that affect its ambition to completely end serious injuries and fatalities in its cars, with speeding being a very prominent one.
Numerous people get speeding tickets every year, and traffic accident data from the US National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 25% of all traffic fatalities in the USA in 2017 were caused by speeding.
As well as limiting top speeds, the company is also investigating how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit its vehicle speeds around schools and hospitals in the future.
“Because of our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”
When a vehicle travels above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are no longer solely enough to prevent the vehicle causing severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident. Although speed limits are in place in most Western countries, speeding remains ubiquitous and one of the most common reasons for fatalities in traffic.
Beyond speeding, two other problem areas that constitute ‘gaps toward zero’ are intoxication and distraction. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in large parts of the world, yet it remains a prime reason for injuries and fatalities on today’s roads, and drivers distracted by their mobile phones, or who are otherwise not focused on driving, are another major cause of traffic fatalities.
Volvo Cars will present ideas to tackle the problem areas of intoxication and distraction at a special safety event in Gothenburg, Sweden, on March 20.