While it’s bound to be a controversial topic, several government bodies across the globe have been pushing for the development and installation of speed reduction technology in new vehicles for some time now, all in the name of reducing traffic fatalities. Ford has thus far explored using things like geofencing to set up zones that would automatically reduce the speed of a vehicle when it enters a specific area, and in Europe, new cars will be required to employ anti-speeding technology by 2024. Now, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also calling for the same sort of speed reduction tech in the U.S., shortly after it expressed concerns over the safety implications of EVs.
The NTSB is now recommending that the U.S. require speed reduction tech in new vehicles – just like Europe – following its review of a deadly crash in Las Vegas last year that claimed the lives of nine people. The agency determined that this crash was caused by “excessive speed, drug-impaired driving, and Nevada’s failure to deter the driver’s speeding recidivism due to systemic deficiencies, despite numerous speeding citations.”
NTSB believes that it can potentially eliminate speeding altogether with the implementation of this technology, as in 2021 alone, speeding-related crashes resulted in 12,330 fatalities – roughly one-third of all traffic deaths in the U.S. Intelligent speed assistance technology (ISA) – as it’s otherwise known – uses a vehicle’s GPS location, a database of posted speed limits, and the vehicle’s onboard cameras to warn a driver when it exceeds the speed limit through visual, sound, or haptic alerts, and the driver is responsible for slowing the car. Active systems include mechanisms that make it more difficult, but not impossible, to increase the speed of a vehicle above the posted speed limit and those that electronically limit the speed of the vehicle to fully prevent drivers from exceeding the speed limit.
“This crash is the latest in a long line of tragedies we’ve investigated where speeding and impairment led to catastrophe, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “We know the key to saving lives is redundancy, which can protect all of us from human error that occurs on our roads. What we lack is the collective will to act on NTSB safety recommendations.”