No Speeding for You!

March 6, 2019 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Eric Peters Autos

The inevitable has happened.

Volvo just announced that it will limit the top speed of all its new cars to 112 MPH, beginning with the 2021 model year – to “highlight the dangers of speeding.”

But it’s not just top speed Volvo intends to limit.

In addition to electronically preventing its cars from exceeding 112 MPH anywhere, it plans to limit you from exceeding the speed limit in school zones, near hospitals and – implicitly – everywhere else.

“We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even the obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behavior,” croons Volvo’s president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson.

Italics added.

Samuelsson is saying – openly – that what Volvo is about to do everyone else must also do. In other words, a fatwa from the government – or the de facto equivalent – outlawing (or rendering impossible) “speeding,” period.

Because everyone knows that it’s ipso facto “dangerous” to ever drive even 1 MPH faster than whatever speed the government – which is all knowing – decrees to be the “safe” speed.

And more than just that.

If a fatwa is hurled that requires all new cars to be incapable of being driven faster than the posted speed limit because that’s always“dangerous” then why not also a fatwa  requiring them to be incapable of accelerating “excessively” fast – even if the car never actually exceeds the limit?

Throttle inputs can be controlled – and countermanded just as easily as speed is limited in almost any modern car, not just Volvo’s cars. No more burnouts – or even passing – for you!

As the opening monologue from TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man put it… we have the technology

Some of you reading this already know – possibly because I’ve warned about it for at least the past three or four years.

Many new cars have a curious little icon that pops up on the LCD touchscreen, or in the main gauge cluster. It looks like a speed limit sign – black numerals on the usual white background. It changes as you drive, to indicate the PSL on the road you’re driving on.

And it turns an angry red as soon as you drive faster than the PSL.

In other words, the car knows you’re “speeding.” It just hasn’t done anything about it . . . yet.

But it could.

The system is primed and ready – not unlike the Patriot Act.

All it will take is the flicking of the proverbial switch – the sending of new programming– via the “connectivity” most new cars also already have and all of them will soon have. The new programming will reconfigure the ECU, the computer which controls most of your car’s operating parameters – to countermand your acceleration inputs.

In the interests of saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety!

Remember: Almost all new cars have drive-by-wire throttle control, which means the accelerator pedal isn’t physically connected to the throttle, as was the case in the past. Instead, sensors send data about how far down you’ve pushed the accelerator pedal and that data is interpreted by the ECU, which sends a signal to open (or close) the throttle accordingly.

But it could just as easily belay your inputs. No matter how hard you mash the gas, the engine doesn’t react accordingly. The same principle – and technology – can also be used to prevent “abrupt” steering inputs; many new cars already have electrically rather than hydraulically controlled power steering – with electric motors controlled by computers the (ECU). These can just as readily be controlled by programming – and not by you.

If it saves just one life. 

Literally- that is Volvo’s  argument, the core tenet of its Vision 2020, which “…aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.”

Hopefully you’re not in a rush to get to the hospital after severing an artery in a chainsaw mishap. Or because your wife went into early labor and the doctor had warned you about potentially lethal complications.

There is also the soul-killing aspect of all of this.

The marrow-sucking of every last morsel of pleasure that might come from driving, from being in control of your car – and not under the control of a bureaucratic hive-nexus.

Volvo appears to not understand that driving – and transportation – are two very different things.

Both aim to get you from A to B.

But the main reason people buy a car rather than a bus ticket is because they want to be the one behind the wheel, the one in charge of what goes on. The one making the decisions.

Volvo is urging that almost all of that be taken away – while still expecting people to pay extra for the privilege of being the meatsack who’s along for the ride.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!