You don’t have to spend much time driving in New Jersey to notice that speeding is a major safety hazard. For this reason, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants to curb high-speed driving with technology. The board has recommended that U.S. automakers add intelligent speed assistance technology to vehicles. This decision arose from statistics that make clear the influence that speeding has on the rising number of traffic fatalities nationwide.
Speed warnings or restrictions?
Intelligent speed assistance can work as either a passive or active system. In a passive system, drivers receive an alert when they exceed the posted speed limit. An active system, on the other hand, actually decelerates speeding vehicles.
Due to how much speeding contributes to motor vehicle accidents, intelligent speed assistance could save lives and prevent injuries. However, an active speed-reduction system could make errors, such as misreading the posted speed limit or confusing the speed limits on adjacent streets. With the matter of accuracy still to be worked out, safety advocates hope that automakers would be receptive to passive warning systems.
Despite the problem of speeding-related deaths and injuries, U.S. automakers have little motivation to add intelligent speed assistance. Consumer demand appears weak, and automakers often tout how fast their vehicles can go in their marketing.
Additionally, political pressure is mild at this time to require automakers to add the technology. Manufacturers view it as an added expense that their customers have little interest in. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has the power to require the technology, is likely years away from making such a regulation. The NHTSA’s rule-making process is a slow one and subject to pressure from industry lobbyists.