Every new Volvo will now come standard with a limited top speed of 112 mph (180 kph). Owners will have the option through the standard Care Key app to set additional limitations, for example, before a younger or inexperienced person drives the vehicle. Volvo says the move is part of their ongoing commitment to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.
“We believe that a car maker has a responsibility to help improve traffic safety,” explained Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “The speed cap and Care Key help people reflect and realize that speeding is dangerous, while also providing extra peace of mind and supporting better driver behavior.”
When Volvo announced plans for limiting the top speed on their vehicles last year, it sparked some controversy. Critics questioned whether or not automakers have the right to impose such limitations on consumers. While the topic will still be up for debate in some circles, Volvo says feedback has been positive so far. The automaker is also committed to the speed restrictions, regardless of what consumers think.
“Volvo Cars believes it has an obligation to continue its tradition of being a pioneer in the discussion around the rights and obligations of car makers to take action that can ultimately save lives, even if this means losing potential customers,” reads a statement from the automaker.
Risky Behaviour Behind The Wheel
Volvo notes that speeding remains one of the most common causes of accidents each year. At the root of the problem is how drivers don’t always understand the risks. Some tend to overestimate their driving ability, while others may feel a false sense of security in their vehicle since it’s a “personal space.” Data from NHTSA shows that speeding killed 9,378 people in 2018.
It’s interesting that even in light of COVID-19 and fewer cars on the road, law enforcement officials are reporting an increase in speeding. In Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska, and Utah, troopers have clocked cars at speeds of over 100 mph.
Similarly, Volvo introduced technology last year that could intervene during distracted or intoxicated driving. “When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” explained Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars. “In this case, cameras will monitor for behavior that may lead to serious injury or death.”