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Volvo implements 180km/h speed limiter

Conversation starter: Volvo Cars president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson (left) wants to start a conversation about how technology can save lives.

All MY21 Volvos will have their top speeds pegged at 180km/h to help save lives

17 Apr 2020

VOLVO has made good on its promise to fit all of its production models with a 180km/h speed limiter as the brand pushes to do its part in lowering the global road death toll.

 

First announced last year by Volvo Cars president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson, the speed limiter is an attempt to plug gaps in its ambition to “completely end serious injuries and fatalities in its cars” following extensive research on driver behaviour.

 

“Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” Mr Samuelsson said at the time.

 

“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.”

 

According to Queensland-based insurance company Budget Direct, speeding is estimated to be a direct contributing factor in 30 per cent of all fatal car crashes, with 1182 deaths on Aussie roads last year.

 

A driving force behind the initiative was the revelation of similar data out of the US in 2017, where it was revealed by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration that 25 per cent of all road fatalities were caused by speeding.

 

Volvo Australia PR and corporate director Greg Bosnich said that while very few drivers actually drive at 180km/h or higher – the highest legal speed posted in Australia is 130km/h – it was the safety-conscious brand’s responsibility to start a discussion as to whether or not car-makers have the right to use technology to alter consumer behaviour.

 

“We know this is a complicated discussion, but we have an obligation to start it. Capping the speed will take out single cases and with that reduce the risk for the specific vehicle and others around it,” he said.

 

“The main issue with speeding is that people often drive too fast in a given traffic situation and have poor speed adaption in relation to that traffic situation and their capabilities as a driver.”

 

Australia lost its last piece of derestricted road back in 2016 with the introduction of the 130km/h limit on the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory.

 

In most other states, the highest legal speed limit is the familiar 110km/h with Mr Bosnich revealing that despite the lack of derestricted stretches of road, the 180km/h limit had been well received.

 

“The response was overwhelmingly a positive one,” he said.

 

“The main objective with a speed limitation is to send a signal and highlight that speeding is a top concern.”

 

In coming years Volvo will be looking into how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit speeds in high risk areas including around schools and hospitals.


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