Volvo has long been synonymous with safety, and last year we brought you news that the Swedish manufacturer would be implementing a speed limiter to its cars from 2020 onwards, to just 180km/h. This, Volvo says, allows them to maintain their position at the forefront of safety, which is great.
“Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. "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.”
According to a report by BudgetDirect, speeding is one of the leading causes of fatalities in Australia resulting from road crashes. It also cites that 42 percent of fatal crashes in 2018 took place at speeds greater than 100km/h. A sobering statistic indeed.
And before you start crying foul at the draconian clamp down on speed, consider this. The fastest legal speed one could do in Australia is 130km/h but that’s only in parts of the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory, while most of the country is limited to 110km/h. So, whats the point in having all that speed?
There is also other reason why Volvo is clamping down on speed. Above certain speeds, some in-car safety technologies and smart infrastructure designs aren’t enough to avoid severe injuries or even fatalities in the event of an accident.
“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, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction,” said Samuelsson. “We don’t have a firm answer to this question but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”
Apart from limiting top speeds, the company is also investigating how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals in future, said the brand.