Intelligent speed assistance technology can prevent cars from going too fast, and the National Transportation Safety Board wants it to be standard equipment on all cars, SUVs and pickup trucks sold in Minnesota and around the country. Traffic accident deaths have soared in recent years, and crashes involving drivers who were speeding or traveling too quickly for road conditions claimed more than 12,000 lives in 2021 alone. The NTSB is a U.S. government agency, but it cannot create new safety regulations. The government agency that could propose making intelligent speed assistance systems mandatory safety equipment in the United States is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Intelligent speed assistance systems
There are two types of intelligent speed assistance systems. Passive systems allow drivers to travel at any speed they choose, but they issue an alert when the posted speed limit is exceeded. Active speed assistance systems engage speed limiters to prevent cars from speeding. Active and passive systems both use a database of speed limits to determine the maximum allowed speed and GPS data to establish a vehicle’s location.
Automakers have not embraced the technology
Intelligent speed assistance systems are only available on a small number of vehicles. Automakers have not embraced the technology because it is expensive and prone to errors in busy areas where roads with different speed limits are in close proximity. Consumers are also reluctant to pay higher prices for technology that they do not think they need and may not work. New York City is testing the technology on some of its municipal vehicles. If the results of this testing indicate that the technology could prevent motor vehicle accidents, the NHTSA may take action.
Europe leads the way
Intelligent speed assistance systems could reduce car accidents by preventing vehicles from speeding. Few carmakers offer these systems because the technology they contain is expensive and does not always work. However, this technology may soon be available in a much wider range of vehicles even if NHTSA does not propose a new regulation. That is because intelligent speed assistance systems will become mandatory safety features in all passenger vehicles sold in the European Union in 2024.