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Volvo will cap the speed limit of all its cars to 112mph
But Polestar won't. From 2020, every single Volvo sold won’t be able to go above 180kmh
Next year, every single new car Volvo sells will be automatically limited to a top speed of 112mph.
It’s because Volvo reckons that above a certain amount of speed, in-car technology and ‘smart infrastructure design’ aren’t enough to prevent injury and fatality. Volvo of course, has made it a mission that by 2020, nobody is to be killed or seriously injured in one of its cars.
Volvo boss Hakan Samuelsson admits that a speed cap isn’t the only thing that’ll prevent injury, but it’s a step. “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 in not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life,” he added.
Volvo is also looking into ‘smart speed control’ and something called ‘geofencing’ tech that automatically limits speeds around schools and hospitals.
“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 such as speeding, intoxication or distraction,” Samuelsson added. “We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”
Volvo safety expert Jan Ivarsson added: “As humans, we all understand the dangers with snakes, spiders and heights. With speeds, not so much. People often drive too fast in a given traffic situation and have poor speed adaption in relation to that traffic situation and their own capabilities as a driver.”
The company also cites driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as a major contributing factor for road injuries and fatalities. That, and distractions too – looking at your phone while driving, for example.
To that end, “Volvo Cars will present ideas to tackle the problem areas of intoxication and distraction at a special safety event” later this month.
Polestar – Volvo’s now-standalone performance brand – confirmed to TopGear.com that its cars won’t be subject to the speed limit. “While Polestar benefits from all the safety technology that Volvo Cars has brought to market,” a spokesperson told us, “all of which will be fitted to Polestar cars, Polestar is a standalone brand and can decide which safety technologies it adopts.
“As a performance brand, we have decided not to implement the speed limiter.”