Safety First

Volvo will now limit all its new vehicles to 112 mph

Volvo is putting safety at the forefront of its new car design.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Your new car may be capable of going much faster, but now it won't be able to. Volvo has announced that every new Volvo car now comes with a limited top speed of 112 mph. The move is a small part of the company's larger safety mission, which includes everything from innovations in technology to advocating for seat belt laws across the world.

In addition, each new Volvo will come with Car Key, a technology that allows Volvo drivers to set limitations for the car's top speed. This works similarly to Ford's MyKey and General Motors' Teen Driver technology.

"We believe that a car maker has a responsibility to help improve traffic safety," said Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. "Our speed limiting technology, and the dialogue that it initiated, fits that thinking. The speed cap and Care Key help people reflect and realize that speeding is dangerous, while also providing extra peace of mind and supporting better driver behavior."

Since Volvo made its initial announcement regarding limiting speed limits, the company has gotten a fair amount of pushback from the media as well as consumers. Does the automaker have the right to limit how fast a driver can go?

In a statement, Volvo confirmed that they not only have the right, but also an obligation to transform the safety conversation, "Volvo Cars believes it has an obligation to continue its tradition of being a pioneer in the discussion around the rights and obligations of car makers to take action that can ultimately save lives, even if this means losing potential customers."

They present the case quite clearly. Modern automobile safety features, body strength, and technology are only good up to certain limits. After that point serious injury or death of those in the vehicle becomes a reality. Volvo has long held that their goal is zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

According to Volvo, "Research shows that on average, people have poor understanding of the dangers around speeding. As a result, many people often drive too fast and have poor speed adaption in relation to the traffic situation."

Speeding isn't the only behavior the automaker is looking to limit. Intoxication and distracted driving are two other primary areas of concern and the company is in the process of developing features to limit those as well.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Cadillac Lyris is an all-electric SUV. Based on this new photo, we now know where the model's plug is.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The electric future of Cadillac is nearly here. The company will debut the Cadillac Lyriq on August 6, showing off the first all-electric SUV in the brand's portfolio.

It's a move that's been a long time coming. The journey of the General Motors electrification strategy began in earnest with the first mass-produced and purpose-designed electric vehicle of the modern era, the EV1, which was on sale from 1996 to 1999. Twenty years after that model was discontinued, GM announced that Cadillac would spearhead the company's shift to an all-electric future.

Cadillac Lyriq Based on this image, it appears that the model will come with aerodynamics-enhancing wheels.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Lyriq is the first model to be built on GM's next-generation architecture, which will include the Ultium battery. The new General Motors electric vehicle platform is capable of working with front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive vehicles.

The forthcoming GMC Hummer EV, which was also teased this week with full body images of its SUV and truck form, will also use the battery.

GM has already signed Honda as part of a partnership to co-create vehicles on the new platform.

Earlier this month, Cadillac released a video showing off new details of the Lyriq including its interior, which is rich with digital technology, all-silver Cadillac side badging, and unique fascia styling.

Cadillac Lyriq The Cadillac Lyriq SUV looks to be a two-row model.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The SUV sports an AKG audio system with the ability for the driver to adjust the sound mode (front and rear) depending on their preference between stereo or surround acoustics.

We also know that the SUV will have Super Cruise hands-free driving technology.

You can find out more about the model following its reveal on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 7 p.m. ET.

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The Renaissance Center In Detroit is the home of General Motors.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Imagine telling Walter Chrysler and the Dodge brothers that their namesake companies would one day be ruled by a corporate overlord with a name sounding like a character from the Marvel Universe or a new erectile dysfunction medication - Stellantis.

Now, imagine telling William C. Durant that the horsepower conglomerate he founded could be getting a name with a moniker that could be confused for a mythical planet or a protective metal that helps Superman combat the effects of kryptonite - Ultium.

That's exactly the proposition General Motors CEO Mary Barra admitted that she has entertained during a company earnings call today

2021 Cadillac Lyriq Cadillac will debut its new electric SUV in August, the Lyriq. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

On the call, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones asked Barra why GM doesn't change isn't name to Ultium, the name it has given its new battery pack. GM has promised 20 new electric vehicles will debut by 2023.

In response, Barra had what some may call a Freudian slip, saying, "We're going to make any change necessary to drive shareholder value," before going on to explain that she "so strongly" believes in the "technology and our future product plans as it relates to electrification. That's something that we evaluate and look at, when's the right time and what are the proof points that ... make it real. We believe strongly in our EV future."

What just yesterday seemed like an almost preposterous idea, has apparently been worked on by GM executives who have studied ways to add a little luster to the GM brand identity.

Barra and other GM executives have continually pushed electrification as a strategy for success in a mobility-rich future.

Certainly stock prices and investment opportunities drive automakers. Ford is continuously discussed as having a low stock price while Tesla’s is soaring despite the fact that Ford has the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. and Tesla is the subject of Reddit pages filled with quality control issues and brand apologists making excuses.

Despite this, it looks, for now, like the General Motors name is safe. But, like the market for electric vehicles, its future remains uncertain.

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