New Technology Makes It Impossible to Exceed the Speed Limit

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.01 - 2024 1:40 PM CET

Technology
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
A breakthrough technology, Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), promises to dramatically reduce the 12,000 annual speeding-related fatalities in the US by preventing drivers from exceeding speed limits.

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Speeding is a big problem in the US, causing more than 12,000 deaths a year, which is about a third of all car deaths. A new technology called Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) could greatly reduce these deaths, possibly saving thousands of lives.

The car industry hasn't done much to fight speeding, and it might even be making it worse.

Even though the highest speed limit in the US is 85 mph on Texas State Highway 130, most new cars can go much faster, with some speedometers showing up to 155 mph. Cars known for safety, like Volvo, can go up to 112 mph, and the Tesla Model S Plaid can go over 200 mph.

Going 100 mph on public roads is very risky, especially for people walking.

A study shows that the chance of a pedestrian dying if hit by a car increases sharply with speed: 10% at 23 mph, 50% at 42 mph, and 75% at 50 mph. Some terrible crashes have happened because of high speeds, like a car going 124 mph in North Carolina and another hitting 130 mph in Los Angeles, both causing deaths.

A Possible Tech Solution

The US's crash death rate is higher than in many other rich countries, with Canada's rate being 60% lower. ISA, which stops drivers from going much over speed limits, could help. There's been a lot of support lately for putting ISA in new cars, especially for government workers or people who've driven recklessly before.

Europe is already making new cars have speed limiters, and the US might do the same. ISA uses GPS and digital maps to check a car's speed against the speed limit. It has two types: "active," which stops the car from speeding, and "passive," which warns drivers to slow down.

This tech could really help lower deaths on the road. The European Union's use of ISA and successful tests, like in New York City where it reduced hard braking by 36%, are good signs.

After a bad crash in North Las Vegas, the National Transportation Safety Board suggested that all new US cars should have ISA. California and the District of Columbia are considering laws for ISA in new cars and for drivers with a history of speeding.

Even with ISA getting more popular, there's pushback from carmakers and some drivers who think it limits freedom. But ISA makes sense, especially with the current road safety crisis and how much stricter we are with speeds on e-scooters compared to cars. With more laws and tests for ISA, we might see a national rule for it, which could make our roads much safer.

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