Volvo’s decision to limit the top speed of its new cars was only the start of it, with the automaker announcing new smart controls, driver monitoring, and collaboration with the rest of the industry to cut road safety accidents and death.
The Swedish firm divided opinion among drivers earlier this month, when it announced it would be capping the maximum speed of its new cars from 2020, limiting them to 180 km/h.
It was an unexpected move, in an industry where top speed is still a key metric. While Volvo has, like other car companies, been adopting increasing active safety technology to cut down crashes and fatalities, “technology alone will not get it all the way to zero,” the automaker said.
Instead, as part of its Vision 2020 project to target no fatalities or serious injuries in a new Volvo by 2020, it decided to take a heavier hand. “People often drive too fast in a given traffic situation and have poor speed adaption in relation to that traffic situation and their own capabilities as a driver,” Volvo South Africa’s MD Greg Maruszewski said. As a result, Volvo opted to weigh in itself, and cap the top speed its cars will be able to achieve.
Volvo E.V.A. Initiative
Were Volvo the only automaker on the road, speed caps and new monitoring technology might be enough to meet Vision 2020 comprehensively. However the car maker has plans to help improve the safety of other firms’ vehicles, if they’re interested. Just as it offered the technology for the three-point safety belt it developed available to all in the industry, now it plans to offer up its safety data.
It’ll do that under the Volvo E.V.A. Initiative, or “Equal Vehicles for All,” and tap into decades of crash research. “Volvo began collecting accident data in the 1970s, with a 24/7 team of specialists doing on-site accident investigation. They’ve been responsible for gathering a huge database of incidents: the type of crash, the causes, how the vehicles were impacted, how safety technology helped or hindered, and what injuries were sustained. More than 72,000 people are currently logged in Volvo’s records.” added Maruszewski.
Volvo has been using that data to set its priorities, and understand the “consequences and mechanisms” of its own safety tech. “Now we’re sharing the knowledge with this data, to help each car become equally safe for all people.”