Volvo to cut top speed on vehicles

At a time when automakers are pushing speed and acceleration to make their vehicles more appealing, Volvo is taking a different approach. The Swedish carmaker is cutting the top speed for all of its new models to 112 miles per hour starting next year.

Currently, the top speed for Volvo’s is 130 mph.

“While a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even l save one life,” Volvo President and CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement announcing the decision.

The move is part of Volvo’s Vision 2020 initiative to eliminate fatalities or serious injuries by next year.

It’s unclear how much limiting the top speed to 112 mph might curb accidents or fatalities given the speed is still high. Still, Volvo is venturing into an area automakers have been hesitant to approach: reducing the speed of cars and trucks.

The automaker is considering other possibilities to limit how fast its models travel in certain areas. For example, the company is looking at ways to use software and geofencing technology to limit the speed of Volvos when they drive by schools and hospitals.

“We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behavior, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction,” said Samuelsson.

Safety advocates are increasingly warning higher speeds are a factor behind traffic and fatalities staying at high levels. The National Safety Council estimates 40,000 people were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. last year.

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