Imogen Pope


Volvo to spy on owners using safety technology designed to restrict speeds

Volvo is cutting the top speed on all of its new models. The Chinese-owned automaker says it will lower the top speed to 112mph (180km/h) from next year as part of its campaign to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in their cars.

Volvo Cars' CEO Håkan Samuelsson said:

“While a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”

The company’s Vision 2020 aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.

However, most research has shown that it is not speed which kills, but driver miscalculation with most accidents ocurring at low speeds.

Apart from limiting top speeds, Volvo is also looking into "smart speed control" and "geofencing" technology (which I assume means using geolocation to track where you are) that will automatically restrict your car's speeds around buildings such as hospitals and schools.

In my opinion, Volvo have got this completely wrong. It makes little sense to produce vehicles with substantial power and then limit how and where they can be driven. Polestar, a sub-brand of Volvo, have founded themselves on producing performance vehicles with 600bhp who also share some of their tech with the "Polestar Engineered" variants of existing Volvo models such as the S60 and V60 Polestar.

If such spying techniques are to be implemented in Volvo cars, and not forgetting the Chinese influence behind it all, it might be time to ditch the idea of buying one completely. Would you spend $50,000+ for a Volvo only to be suffocated with safety equipment that invades your privacy? No thanks.