Every 2021 Volvo Gets 112-mph Speed Limiter, New Safe Teen Driver Tech

Liz Kim | May 20, 2020

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top four causes of traffic fatalities in the United States are driver distraction, sleepiness, drunk driving, and speeding. In fact, the NHTSA says speeding was a factor contributing to more than 10,000 deaths in 2016.

Volvo V60 on the highway

One of Volvo’s big-picture ambitions for its future is zero deaths or serious injuries while people are riding in their vehicles. The company not only wants to make its cars and SUVs safer, it intends to plant more stakes in the ground as pioneers in reducing traffic fatalities and making driving safer.

Toward that end, Volvo announced today that every new 2021 Volvo model will come with a speed limiter preventing the vehicle from traveling faster than 112 mph (180 kmh). There is, apparently, no way to override this limit.

Considering that the top speed limit in America is 80 mph in Montana, and nationally getting caught driving over 100 mph will likely lead to hefty fines, suspension of your license, and even jail time, this limit shouldn’t affect most North American drivers. And it certainly does not impact the impressive acceleration capabilities of Volvo’s Polestar Engineered T8 variants, which will continue to scream to 60 mph while pushing your deeper into the driver’s seat.

Volvo will readily admit that these restrictions will anger some driving enthusiasts, and that they will most likely lose some potential business as a result. However, Volvo believes that the overall benefit of nudging people to safer driving habits, and helping to save lives, will be worth the cost. 

On a related note, Volvo is also introducing Care Key as standard equipment on 2021 Volvos. Using Care Key, parents can set an even more restrictive maximum vehicle speed in order to prevent their young, inexperienced, judgment-impaired children from driving too fast.

Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars’ chief executive, said in a statement: “We believe that a car maker has a responsibility to help improve traffic safety,” said Mr. Samuelsson. “Our recently announced speed limit fits that thinking and the Care Key is another example. 

Volvo has approached insurance companies to discuss how owners of its vehicles might enjoy lower insurance rates in conjunction with the speed-limiter and Care Key technologies. “If we can encourage and support better behavior with technology that helps drivers to stay out of trouble, that should logically also have a positive impact on insurance premiums,” said Samuelsson.

The information contained in this article is from Volvo. It was accurate as of May 20, 2020 but may have changed since that time.

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