To Speed or Not to Speed…

How do you feel about making technology standards that prevent you from speeding in your vehicle? It surprised me that, according to a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety survey, most American drivers would be okay with it.

The survey included responses from more than 1,800 U.S. drivers and specifically asked about three types of intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology:

  • An audible warning when a vehicle exceeds the speed limit or exceeds it by a certain amount
  • Making it more difficult to push down on the gas while speeding
  • Restricting power to the engine

The study showed that 64% of respondents said an audible warning is acceptable, 50% said accelerator feedback is acceptable, and 52% said “acceptable” to restricted acceleration.

According to IIHS President David Harkey. “The conventional wisdom has always been that speed-restricting technology would never fly in our car-centric culture.” That’s the same impression I had on the subject. While 62% say an audible warning is acceptable, I wonder how acceptable it will be when the warning goes off every minute or two.! Fortunately, the IIHS indicates that any ISA adopted in the U.S. would likely allow drivers to turn off the technology. Respondents are also more open to this option if the ISA had a 10-mile-per-hour tolerance before activating.

“U.S. drivers might be more apt to accept a system that allowed a higher tolerance on interstates and freeways but had a lower threshold in school zones and other areas with many pedestrians and bicyclists,” said the IIHS.

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