While many people focus on new automotive technology such as self-driving cars, one manufacturer is looking at limitations for a vehicle's top speed.
Volvo recently announced that, starting in 2020, they will limit all new cars to a top speed of 180 kilometers per hour. This is equivalent to about 112 miles per hour (mph).
Sending a message
While legal speed limits across Utah are much lower - at 75 mph or 80 mph on specified roads - the Swedish manufacturer said the change sends a message "about the dangers of speeding." Speed limiters are uncommon in private vehicles in the United States. Drivers typically find them in some commercial vehicles, like buses and trucks, but not vehicles for personal use.
But Volvo is promoting its Vision 2020 measure, which aims to bring the number of people killed in new Volvos to zero by next year. Volvo Cars President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson believes manufacturers can play an important role in lowering automotive deaths and the company is working on ideas for tackling distracted and drunk driving.
"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 behaviour, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction," said Samuelsson in a statement announcing the plan.
Utah fatalities are decreasing, but speeding is still an issue
Utah highways are the safest they've been in decades, based on the rate of deaths, but there is still room for improvement. While traffic fatalities in Utah have decreased for two consecutive years, speeding continues to be a factor in many accidents. Sixty-seven of the 264 fatalities in 2018 involved excessive speeding.
It will be interesting to see if other manufacturers choose to address driving behaviors that cause fatalities through vehicle design, and if those changes make a positive impact.