Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Volvo’s Care Key lets you set limits on shared car speeds

The next time you consider lending your car to your kids, you might ponder this idea: if you could limit the maximum car speed, would you?

Imagine a world where as a parent, you could possibly prevent your kids from being tempted to drive well and truly past the speed limit.

There’s no way to completely guarantee safety across the board, and many drivers are going to be idiots, but if you could withdraw the temptation for pushing past speed limits, would that be something you would take up?

It’s an intriguing concept, that’s for sure, and it’s one Volvo has started rolling out in some of its vehicles, building what’s called the “Care Key” and making it standard in all of its cars from 2021.

Even though we’re heading into an automated self-driving world, people that reality is actually further off than you might expect, and while children born from 2016 onwards may not end up doing as much driving due to the availability of self-driving vehicles and the research developments from that area, there will still be plenty of people throwing keys to ignition and driving themselves places.

To help ensure safety, Volvo has built the Care Key, a new type of key that uses electronic controls to prevent young drivers from hitting top speeds, stopping the cars from going beyond a certain limit when the limitation is set by parents.

We’re not sure how this will be rolled out as such and it could be a limitation handled by app or in-car computer, but it will be applied by a new key which will tell the car to apply that limitation and stop the car from going beyond a specific speed.

“Many want to be able to share their car with friends and family, but are unsure about how to make sure they are safe on the road. The Care Key provides one good solution and extra peace of mind,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Chief Executive at Volvo Cars.

The technology has a couple of years yet before it becomes standard on all cars, though it follows an announcement that from next year (2020), Volvo’s cars will max out at 180kph to send a message about speeding. Potentially, Volvo Care Key could send that message more loudly and clearly, and if the limit was set to a maximum of 90 for L or red P platers, could mean the temptation of driving faster is no longer such a temptation.

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