Currently reading: Volvo begins introduction of 112mph speed limit
Swedish firm says new speed cap is designed to spark discussion, help owners become better drivers
James Attwood, digital editor
News
3 mins read
20 May 2020

Volvo has begun the introduction of a 112mph speed cap for all its cars, with the head of the firm’s Safety Centre saying the move is not about limiting owners, but helping them to be "the best drivers they can possibly be".

The Swedish firm announced the limit last year, as part of a wider safety plan to help reduce road traffic deaths to zero. The speed cap is now being rolled across its whole range as new model year updates are introduced. Previously, top speeds ranged from 118mph to 155mph.

All Volvo vehicles will also feature a new Care Key, which will allow owners to set additional limits on the top speed of vehicles, of between 31mph and 112mph. It will also allow owners who lend their car to family members to prevent them from going above a certain speed.

“We believe that a car maker has a responsibility to help improve traffic safety,” said Malin Ekholm, who heads the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. 

The 112mph cap still exceeds regulations in virtually every country, but Ekholm said it was intended to serve to both limit speeds and to promote a discussion on safety. “We decided there really is no reason to go faster than 112mph” Ekholm told Autocar. “112mph is still fast, so is that going to be the end of speeding? No, it’s not, but it’s still a limitation. Everyone talks about speed and speeding, and we wanted to do something to show that we’re serious.”

Ekholm said that, since it was announced, the reaction of Volvo customers to the speed cap had largely been “very supportive”. She added: “I’m happy the majority of people have been positive in saying we’re doing something by talking about the issue and taking action.

“There are always sceptics, because the challenge with human behavioural aspects is that the issue of speed is connected to how our brains are programmed. We’re not programmed to comprehend speed at a high level, so how can we do that in a nice way? How do we balance the freedom to move with safety? The speed cap is the first step in looking into what is safe speed - and how do we help you maintain it?

“As a car manufacturer we want to bring to the table the tool box that we have, which includes speed caps, and look at how we can make drivers the best that they can be in every single situation. It’s about how we can do that in a way that it’s understood it’s a help and not a Big Brother approach.”

Volvo is also looking at the issues of driver intoxication and distraction, which it plans to address by installing driver monitoring systems in the near future.

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Volvo to introduce 112mph speed limit in all its cars (from 2019)

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28

20 May 2020

I accept that there is probably no safety advantage, but travelling above 112mph is only going to result in a disproportionate increase in fuel consumption (and CO2 of course). So even if you could sustain this speed, the increased necessity for fuel stops offsets any time saved by faster travel. This is probably the main reason why EVs are speed limited given the impact of high speed on range. 

Cars sold in Japan are governed to 112mph I believe - and arguably there is a case for setting the limit even slower.  

20 May 2020

Starts at 112 mph, and slowly creeps down to 70mph. . .

 

We might not travel at above 100 mph in our cars, but sometimes having limits placed is a worrying sign of what will come next.

 

And the Germans have proven with the Autobhans that you can travel at speed safely. Just build safer roads, and provision enough space on them for growth.

 

21 May 2020
LP in Brighton wrote:

I accept that there is probably no safety advantage, but travelling above 112mph is only going to result in a disproportionate increase in fuel consumption (and CO2 of course). So even if you could sustain this speed, the increased necessity for fuel stops offsets any time saved by faster travel. This is probably the main reason why EVs are speed limited given the impact of high speed on range. 

Cars sold in Japan are governed to 112mph I believe - and arguably there is a case for setting the limit even slower.  

EVs are limited in top speed by generally having one  gear.

TSLAs have a high top speed because they have very high reving motors and lots of power but even then with a change of gearing they could easily do around 200 mph with the availible power.

20 May 2020

Don't forget Volvo's promise of no one will be killed in a new Volvo from Jan 2020 onwards.

20 May 2020

I've never read such rubbish in my life.  Her tongue must have been sticking out the other side of her cheek when Malin Ekholm came out with this rubbish.

Volvo wants to "improve traffic safety" so they are limiting their cars to ONLY 37 mph ABOVE Sweden's maximum speed limit, and 42 mph above ours.

If they really cared about traffic safety why are they allowing buyers of their vehicles to travel so much faster than the speed limit? 

Why don't they be honest and admit they are just after a quick, cheap headline?

21 May 2020
martin_66 wrote:

I've never read such rubbish in my life.  Her tongue must have been sticking out the other side of her cheek when Malin Ekholm came out with this rubbish.

Volvo wants to "improve traffic safety" so they are limiting their cars to ONLY 37 mph ABOVE Sweden's maximum speed limit, and 42 mph above ours.

If they really cared about traffic safety why are they allowing buyers of their vehicles to travel so much faster than the speed limit? 

Why don't they be honest and admit they are just after a quick, cheap headline?

Its really about EVs and their inability to engineer a high reving, high torque electric motor at a reasonable cost.

TSLA spent a large amount of engineering time designing motors which push a very long way into the flux weakening zone, Porsche added a 2 speed gearbox.

Volvo/Geely plan to limit to 112mph and claim it as a feature!

20 May 2020

 At what speed are we safe at?its not the speed that kills, causes the accident, it's the driver, if Volvo want to lead the way then how about predictive driving?, a system which assesses the Weather and road conditions and drives at a safer speed?, besides, limiting speed will just mean most, given the chance will drive at that speed, it's human nature.

20 May 2020

There will of course be applications to remove the limiter created by Volvo themselves.

I'm sure within 2 weeks of their vehicles hitting the market, a friendly sole trader will be able to remove such restrictions...

20 May 2020

I can see both sides of the argument. 112mph is well above most national speed limits so there's no harm, limiting too speed in theory means a reduction in power(and emissions) and weight; resulting in a positive spiral of reduced weight and efficency.

However, as Symanski says, this could just be the start, making it accepted because it's far above the national limits that it seems insignificant, once it becomes the norm the limit can be reduced, by manufacturers and governments.  

I'm not sure which side I land on. 

20 May 2020

It's like reading the Daily Mail with your refusal to even make any reference to the actual limits in km/h. I sincerely doubt anyone in Sweden had 112 mph in their head.

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