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Volvo Cars, staying true to its promise made last year, has limited the top speed of all its new cars to 180kmph. Apart from the speed cap, every company car will now also come with a Care Key, which allows the drivers and owners to set additional limitations on the car’s top speed, for example before lending their car to other family members or to younger and inexperienced drivers. The speed restriction has been introduced to close the remaining gap to zero serious injuries and fatalities in traffic.
“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 realise that speeding is dangerous, while also providing extra peace of mind and supporting better driver behaviour.” The top speed limit has proven to be controversial since it was announced, with some observers questioning the rights of car makers to impose such limitations through available technology. Yet, Volvo went ahead with its decision so that ultimately lives can be saved, even if this means losing potential customers.
The introduction of the 180kph speed limitation and Care Key reiterate the fact that carmakers can take active responsibility for striving to achieve zero traffic fatalities by supporting better driver behaviour. 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. This 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. It underlines Volvo Cars position as a worldwide leader in safety.