Volvo starts introducing 180kph speed limit in its cars

Volvo starts introducing 180kph speed limit in its cars

21st May 2020 9:00 am

This 180kph speed limit is being rolled out with the model year updates across the brand’s entire line-up.

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  • Speed limit introduction is part of a wider safety plan by Volvo to help reduce road traffic deaths to zero.
  • This speed limit will be applied across the entire range with the model year updates.

Volvo has begun the introduction of a 180kph speed cap for all its cars, with the head of the firm’s Safety Centre saying the move is not about limiting owners but helping them to be "the best drivers they can possibly be.”

The Swedish firm announced the speed limit last year, as part of a wider safety plan to help reduce road traffic deaths to zero. The speed cap is now being rolled across its whole range, as new model year updates are introduced. Previously, top speeds ranged from 190ph to 250kph.

All Volvo vehicles will also feature a new Care Key, which will allow owners to set additional top-speed limits, of between 50kph and 180kph, on the vehicles. It will allow owners who lend their car to others to prevent them from going above a certain speed.

“We believe that a carmaker has a responsibility to help improve traffic safety,” said Malin Ekholm, who heads the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

The 180kph cap still exceeds regulations in virtually every country, but Ekholm said it was intended to serve to both, limit speeds and to promote a discussion on safety. “We decided there really is no reason to go faster than 180kph,” Ekholm told our sister publication Autocar UK. “180kph is still fast, so is that going to be the end of speeding? No, it’s not, but it’s still a limitation. Everyone talks about speed and speeding, and we wanted to do something to show that we’re serious.”

Ekholm said that, ever since it was announced, the reaction of Volvo customers to the speed cap had largely been “very supportive”. She added: “I’m happy the majority of people have been positive in saying we’re doing something by talking about the issue and taking action.

“There are always sceptics, because the challenge with human behavioural aspects is that the issue of speed is connected to how our brains are programmed. We’re not programmed to comprehend speed at a high level, so how can we do that in a nice way? How do we balance the freedom to move with safety? The speed cap is the first step in looking into what is safe speed – and how do we help you maintain it?

“As a car manufacturer we want to bring to the table the toolbox that we have, which includes speed caps, and look at how we can make drivers the best that they can be in every single situation. It’s about how we can do that in a way that it’s understood it’s a help and not a ‘big brother’ approach.”

Volvo is also looking at the issues of driver intoxication and distraction, which it plans to address by installing driver monitoring systems in the near future.

For the India market, Volvo has also recently launched a new online retail platform to help customer with the buying process during the coronavirus pandemic.

Also see:

Volvo recalls nearly 1,900 cars in India

Volvo S90, V90 facelifts revealed

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