Auto manufacturer Volvo intends to make sure that owners of their vehicles will never get another speeding ticket. By instituting technology in cars that limits the velocity of the car to 112 MPH, the auto giant ensures their drivers won’t unintentionally endanger themselves. The technology is scheduled to find a place in cars from 2021. Many premium cars already have a speed limited on them, ensuring that the maximum attainable speed in the vehicle can’t cross 155 MPH. The 112 MPH (derived from the conversion from 180 KPH) is a massive drop in top speed.
The technology claims to be able to control speeding in three distinct stages. Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) technology first attempts to warn the driver after the speed reaches a certain threshold. Secondly, it increases the amount of force needed by the driver to depress the accelerator after the car’s velocity crosses a specific limit. Thirdly, the engine’s power is limited so that it cannot surpass certain speeds, even if the driver wants to go faster.
Internally mounted cameras serve as the ‘eyes’ of the vehicle and allow them to observe speed limit signs and tailor the car to it. Additionally, if the cameras are obscured, the onboard GPS also contains a database of the local speed limit areas, making it even more challenging to defeat the system. While the US has yet to experience this technology, it is slated to hit European roads soon.
The Question of Safety over Choice
While the technology is indeed remarkable, it raises ethical questions as to whether drivers should not be allowed to go as fast as they want. The argument is that they may endanger other individuals on the roads, so limiting the speed is best for all parties involved. Additionally, self-driving car manufacturers can easily incorporate this technology into their designs. The integration will allow them to obey limits in areas as defined by signs or their onboard GPS databases. With the rate of road fatalities in the US rising daily, adopting this technology might help save some lives on the nation’s busy roads.