Your new car may be capable of going much faster, but now it won’t be able to. Volvo has announced that every new Volvo car now comes with a limited top speed of 112 mph. The move is a small part of the company’s larger safety mission, which includes everything from innovations in technology to advocating for seat belt laws across the world.
In addition, each new Volvo will come with Car Key, a technology that allows Volvo drivers to set limitations for the car’s top speed. This works similarly to Ford’s MyKey and General Motors’ Teen Driver technology.
“We believe that a car maker has a responsibility to help improve traffic safety,” said Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “Our speed limiting technology, and the dialogue that it initiated, fits that thinking. 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.”
Since Volvo made its initial announcement regarding limiting speed limits, the company has gotten a fair amount of pushback from the media as well as consumers. Does the automaker have the right to limit how fast a driver can go?
In a statement, Volvo confirmed that they not only have the right, but also an obligation to transform the safety conversation, “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.”
They present the case quite clearly. Modern automobile safety features, body strength, and technology are only good up to certain limits. After that point serious injury or death of those in the vehicle becomes a reality. Volvo has long held that their goal is zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
According to Volvo, “Research shows that on average, people have poor understanding of the dangers around speeding. As a result, many people often drive too fast and have poor speed adaption in relation to the traffic situation.”
Speeding isn’t the only behavior the automaker is looking to limit. Intoxication and distracted driving are two other primary areas of concern and the company is in the process of developing features to limit those as well.