Volvo has admitted that while its decision to impose a blanket 180 km/h speed limit on all of its models won’t reduce speeding, its implementation merely serves as another method to improve safety.
Last year, the Swedish automaker’s President and CEO, Håkan Samuelsson, stated that “while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life”. The limiter was officially introduced in May this year as per the 2020 projection.
“It’s a limitation, and there really is no reason to go faster than 112 mph (180 km/h). Everyone talks about speeding, but we wanted to do something to show we’re serious. That will initiate an in-depth dialogue on the subject,” Volvo Cars Safety Centre Head, Malin Ekholm, told Britain’s Autocar.
“As a car manufacturer, we want to bring to the table the toolbox we have, which includes speed caps, and look at how we can make drivers the best they can be in every single situation. It’s about doing so in a way that’s understood to help and not a Big Brother approach”.
Claiming that the restriction has met with the approval from “a lot of our customers” who “are very supportive of what we’re doing”, Ekholm however stated that scepticism would always prevail “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, what does the road map look like and how do we include the sceptics? The speed cap is the first step to looking into what is safe speed – and how do we help you maintain it?” she said.
“Twenty years ago, it wasn’t necessarily fun to drive fast, because it wasn’t comfortable. Now cars are fantastic and behave the same at any speed, so how can we translate the old signals you got that you were going very fast into a modern context?”