It sure will have polarizing opinions, but it’s good to see Volvo sticking to its core beliefs and principles

At a time where automakers are feeding their cars with supplements to give them more power and higher top speeds, there is this Swedish angel who cares about peoples safety instead of competing in the rat-race to see who builds a faster car. Volvo recently announced that it will be limiting the top speed on all of its models to 112 mph from the 2021 model year. Will this affect Volvo’s sales?

This Is Just The Beginning Of The Safety Revolution

Volvo Raises the Bar for Safety, Limits All New Cars from 2020 Onward to 112 MPH Exterior
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Volvo is implementing this new policy keeping the Vision 2020 in mind, wherein the automaker is aiming to reduce the number of people that die or are seriously injured in road traffic accidents to zero.

Volvo is synonymous with safety and this announcement further cements that trust. For the uninitiated, Volvo has been the brain behind many safety features used in cars today, the most notable one being the three-point seat belt that the Swedish automaker invented back in 1959. Not just this, Volvo is also exploring to work towards a technology that could limit the speeds of Volvo vehicles around schools and hospitals through a combination of speed control and geo-fencing. Volvo notes that the other two problems are intoxication and distraction. The company expects to present its plans for tackling these issues at a special safety event in Sweden on March 20th.

Customers Can Choose Polestar If They Yearn For Scandinavian Power

2018 Polestar 1
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Although it may seem like a deal-breaker on the onset, Volvo cars have never been known to attract people with adrenaline rush.

Speedsters tend to look at other brands if they are in the market for fast cars. So, Volvo could actually end up benefiting from this announcement. It will surely appeal to rich parents who want their teenage kids to drive sedately. With that said, the policy does not apply to the Polestar, Volvo’s electric sub-brand.

Germans Sure Are Disciplinarians

Volvo is not the first company to implement this in its cars. The three Germans - Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz - have signed a gentlemen's agreement when they have installed speed governers in their high-performance models that limits the speed to 155 mph.

This was implemented to reduce the number of fatalities on the Autobahn. However, Germany is planning to put a restriction on the Autobahn to reduce the damages to the environment. Policymakers have drafted a proposal to put a speed limit of 80 mph. But this is just in Germany, which has been the most stringent when it comes to emission norms.

It’s The Need Of The Hour

Volvo Raises the Bar for Safety, Limits All New Cars from 2020 Onward to 112 MPH Exterior
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Limiting the top speed of vehicles will surely appeal to some safety advocates who have been constantly talking about rising traffic fatalities. A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association determined that about 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018 — a four-percent increase over 2017 and the highest mortality rate since 1990. In fact, the rise in the sales of SUVs has resulted in a higher number of pedestrian deaths. The bulky vehicles, which have large bodies and higher carriages are disastrous for the pedestrians. The high ground clearance adds to the horror as the victims are more likely to get trapped underneath a speeding SUV instead of pushed onto the hood or bounced off to the side.

What They Had To Say

Volvo Raises the Bar for Safety, Limits All New Cars from 2020 Onward to 112 MPH
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Hakan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive, Volvo Cars, said, "Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be. 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. We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that change their driver’s behavior, to tackle things like 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."

Our Take

Volvo Raises the Bar for Safety, Limits All New Cars from 2020 Onward to 112 MPH Exterior
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I believe it's a fantastic move by Volvo. The company came up with the Vision 2020 goal many years back, and to be honest, it was still far from accomplishing it.

This policy will surely bring Volvo closer to achieving that goal and creating a safer environment. Only time will tell whether or not this will have an adverse effect on the sales. But I, for one, think this will help Volvo in the long run as this policy sets it apart from the competitors, who try to make their cars as fast as possible. What are your thoughts on this? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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Further reading

2019 Volvo V60 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Volvo V60.

2014 Volvo S60 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S60.

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 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, is one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry. But realising that technology alone will not get it all the way to zero, Volvo Cars is now broadening its scope to include a focus on driver behaviour.

Research by Volvo Cars has identified three remaining concerns for safety that constitute so-called ‘gaps’ in its ambition to completely end serious injuries and fatalities in its cars, with speeding 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 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, 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 pioneer.”

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 and one of the most common reasons for fatalities in traffic.

Millions of people still get speeding tickets every year and traffic accident data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration shows that 25 per cent of all traffic fatalities in the US in 2017 were caused by speeding.

People simply do not recognise the danger involved in speed, says Jan Ivarsson, one of Volvo Cars’ leading safety experts.

“As humans, we all understand the dangers with snakes, spiders and heights. With speeds, not so much,” said Mr Ivarsson. “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.”

Beyond speeding, two other problem areas constitute ‘gaps toward zero’. As obvious a problem as speeding (and as difficult to end) is intoxication. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in large parts of the world, yet it remains a prime reason for injuries and fatalities on today’s roads.

The other area is distraction. Drivers distracted by their mobile phones or otherwise not fully engaged in driving are another major cause of traffic fatailities. In many ways, they are equally dangerous as drunk drivers.

Volvo Cars will present ideas to tackle the problem areas of intoxication and distraction at a special safety event in Gothenburg, Sweden on March 20.

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