Company says human behaviour needs to change, as technology and design can only do so much in eliminating death and serious injury in its vehicles.
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Volvo Cars will electronically limit its new vehicles to a top speed of 180km/h from 2020 onwards, as it pushes to make its vehicles safer.

The company has a long-held goal of eliminating deaths and serious injuries in its new cars, but now recognises advances in technology and design aren't enough to achieve this target.

According to Volvo, above a certain speed in-car safety technology and modern infrastructure design aren't enough to prevent death or serious injury.

In order to achieve its target of zero deaths in its cars, the automaker will broaden "its scope to include a focus on driver behaviour".

Håkan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars, admits "speed limitation is not a cure-all, [but] it’s worth doing if we can even save one life".

“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,” Samuelsson added.

“We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”

The Swedish automaker is also investigating smart speed control technology and geofencing to restrict vehicle speeds around schools and hospitals.

Data from the US National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration shows speeding was a factor in 25 per cent of traffic deaths in the States in 2017.

“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," Jan Ivarsson, a safety expert at Volvo, noted.

"We need to support better behaviour and help people realise and understand that speeding is dangerous.”

It's understood police and emergency cars will be exempt from Volvo's new limit.

Aside from speeding, Volvo will target two other life-threatening driver behaviours: intoxication and distraction. The company will present ideas on how to tackle those issues at a safety summit in Gothenburg, Sweden on March 20.