Volvo Hopes Lowering the Top Speed on Its Cars Will Save Lives
If people can’t follow the speed limit, Volvo will at least give them a little less horsepower the next time they step on the gas.
The Swedish automaker, which is a subsidiary of Chinese automotive company Geely, announced on Monday that it will lower the speed limit in all new cars it produces, beginning next year, and will offer a top speed of 112 mph on future vehicles.
While (VOLVO-AB)Volvos aren’t typically thought of as speed machines, top of the line versions of the company’s S90 sedans and V90 hatchback vehicles can go up to 150 mph, according to specs on Volvo’s website.
The company made the decision to lower the speed limit as part of its Vision 2020 initiative, which aims to cut traffic-related fatalities down to zero. In 2017, accidents caused by speeding killed 9,717 people in the United States, according to data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
“People often drive too fast in a given traffic situation and have poor speed adaption in relation to that traffic situation and their own capabilities as a driver. We need to support better behavior and help people realize and understand that speeding is dangerous,” Jan Ivarsson, a Volvo safety expert, said in a news release.
Volvo has a rich history when it comes to automotive safety. In 1959, a Volvo engineer invented the three-point seat belt that became the standard in cars around the world and saved countless lives.
Aside from the safety announcement, it’s been a busy start to 2019 for Volvo. Last month, Volvo showed off its Polestar 2, an electric, lower cost sedan designed to compete with the Tesla Model 3. While Tesla is already slashing prices on its car, anyone interested in taking the Polestar 2 for a test drive will have to wait a big longer. Production for the car is expected to start next year in China.