Slowing for safety

Volvo to introduce a speed limiter to all cars.

Volvo has announced it will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180 km/h from 2020.

The move comes after research from the Swedish car manufacturer revealed speed and people’s attitude to speeding to be a major factor prohibiting Volvo from reaching its goal of no fatalities or serious injuries occurring in a new Volvo by 2020.

Volvo President and Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson said limiting speed in new cars would reduce the risk of death or serious injury.

"Because of our research we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars,” Mr Samuelsson said.

“Speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”

The limitation will have minimal impact on Australian Volvo drivers as the highest speed limit in the country is 130 km/h, however it will impact the European market where there are open speed limits on autobahns and freeways.

Volvo considers speed restriction a form of corporate social responsibility.

“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,” Mr Samuelsson said. 

“We don’t have a firm answer to this question but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”

The company is also researching whether a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could be used to automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals in future.

Speed remains a common causes of road fatalities in Australia, contributing to approximately one in five road deaths in Queensland.