Volvo to limit speeds in new cars from next year

Volvo will limit the top speed of its new cars to 180kmph (112mph) from next year in an attempt to save lives.

The carmaker said the move was “one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry” and was aimed at reducing the number of people killed as a result of speeding.

Hakan Samuelsson, the company’s president and chief executive, said: “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.”

The company is also looking at combining smart speed control and geofencing technology to automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals.

Mr Samuelsson said: “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.

“We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”

Besides speeding, there are two other factors in most accidents – intoxication or distraction – and the company would present ideas to tackle these at a special safety event on 20 March, he said.

In February, European politicians agreed that speed limiting technology (intelligent speed assistance) could be fitted to all new cars within three years.

The European Transport Safety Council said the limiters would reduce collisions by 30%, and save around 25,000 lives within 15 years.

Jan Ivarsson, one of Volvo’s leading safety experts, said: “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.

“We need to support better behaviour and help people realise and understand that speeding is dangerous.”

Volvo Cars is based in the Swedish city of Goteborg but is owned by China’s Geely holding company.

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