Volvo said today it will present a 112-mph (180-kph) rate limiter on all its vehicles since the Swedish automaker seeks to burnish its safety credentials and fulfill a pledge to get rid of passenger fatalities in its models by 2020.
While Volvo, whose XC90 flagship SUV now has a top speed of 132 mph, has made progress on its so-called “Vision 2020” goal of zero deaths or severe injuries, chief executive Håkan Samuelsson said it is unlikely to meet the goal without additional measures to deal with driver behavior. “We’ve understood that to close the gap we have to concentrate more on the human elements,” Samuelsson told Reuters. Volvo did not elaborate on the data but said its passenger fatalities were well below the industry average before the goal was announced in 2007.
Besides the rate cap, Volvo plans to deploy technologies using cameras which monitor the driver’s state and attentiveness to prevent people driving while distracted or drunk, two other large factors in accidents, Samuelsson said. The business is also looking at lower geofenced rate limits to slow cars around sensitive pedestrian areas such as schools, while trying to “begin a dialogue ” among automakers and regulators about how technology can be used to improve safety.
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While Volvo buyers often choose the brand for its safety, Samuelsson conceded that the rate cap might be a turn-off to get a few in markets like Germany, where drivers routinely travel at 125 mph or higher on unrestricted autobahns. “We cannot please everybody, but we think we will bring in new clients,” the CEO said, recalling that the roll-out of three-point seatbelts pioneered by Volvo in 1959 had originally been criticized by some as intrusive. “I think Volvo clients in Germany will appreciate that we’re doing something about safety,” he said.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost; additional reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm)
The article Volvo to Limit Car Speeds in Bid for Zero Crash Deaths appeared first on Motortrend.
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