How Speed Governors Could Save Lives

Most personal vehicles can travel at speeds of over 100 miles per hour, far above any U.S. speed limit. Why?

1 minute read

November 22, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Close-up of car speedometer showing 120 mph speed with digitally displayed ' VEHICLE OVERSPEED' warning


Writing in Fast Company, David Zipper presents an argument for mandating speed-limiting technology on personal vehicles—an argument now being made by federal regulators

Using an example from Las Vegas where a driver going more than three times the speed limit killed nine people, Zipper notes that an investigation summary from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the crash “recommended that automakers install technology on all new cars that can prevent reckless speeding—and, for the first time, called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate it.”

For Zipper, “That is an excellent, overdue idea.” Speed governors are already mandated on much less deadly vehicles like e-scooters (and some company vehicles), and many modern cars do have speed limiters that cap speeds at 155 miles per hour. Why not set them at a more reasonable, less deadly limit?

The NTSB recommends that the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) require the adoption of Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology. As Zipper explains, “‘Passive’ ISAs issue audible or haptic alerts to drivers who exceed the top programmed speed, hopefully compelling them to slow down. ‘Active’ ISAs intervene in the car’s mechanics, often by requiring the driver to apply extra force on the accelerator.” The technology will be mandated on cars in Europe starting next year.

Saturday, November 18, 2023 in Fast Company

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