Volvo Cars, as a worldwide leader in safety, is sending a strong signal about the dangers of speeding and will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180 kph from 2020.
The company’s vision, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, is one of the most ambitious yet practical safety visions in the automotive industry. But realising that technology alone will not get the speed all the way to zero, Volvo Cars is now broadening its scope to focus on the driver’s behaviour.
Research by Volvo Cars has identified three remaining concerns for safety that constitute socalled ‘gaps’ in its ambition to completely end serious injuries and fatalities in its cars, with speeding being a very prominent one.
“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.”
Apart from limiting top speeds, the car manufacturing company is also investigating how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals in 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. We want 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 good example.”
The problem with speeding is that above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are no longer enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident. That is why speed limits are in place in most western countries, yet speeding remains ubiquitous (let us find another word) and is one of the most common reasons for fatalities on the roads.
“Volvo Cars South Africa intends to support the brand’s international call to lobby other car manufacturers into a discussion around what can be done to end carnages on the roads. We want to establish whether car-makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driving behavior,” adds Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Cars South Africa.”
Volvo Cars will present ideas to tackle the problem areas of intoxication and distraction while driving at a special safety event in Sweden, which will be shared globally and strategically implemented by 2020.