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Volvo limits cars to 112mph, provides Care Key

By Graeme Roberts | 20 May 2020

Every model built by Geely owned Volvo now comes with a 112mph speed limit and a Care Key.

Volvo Cars said it was delivering on its promise made last year to introduce such a limitation which goes beyond regulation and legislation to help close the remaining gap to zero serious injuries and fatalities in traffic.

The Care Key allows Volvo drivers to set additional limitations on the car's top speed before lending their car to other family members or to younger and inexperienced drivers.

"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 Cars believes it has an obligation to continue its tradition of being a pioneer in the discussion around the rights and obligations of car makers to take action that can ultimately save lives, even if this means losing potential customers.

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.

Research shows that on average, people have poor understanding of the dangers around speeding. As a result, many people often drive too fast and have poor speed adaption in relation to the traffic situation.

Apart from speeding, intoxication and distraction are two other primary areas of concern for traffic safety and that constitute the remaining gap towards the automaker's vision of a future with zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries. It is taking action to address all three elements of human behaviour in its safety work, with more features to be introduced in future cars.