Cool! I bet it doesn’t work on the interstate, though. I can’t believe that the chase robot could go that fast.
Whenever a I read that someone “lost control of the car” I always substitute “gave up control of the car” in my mind because that is usually the truth. If you stop trying to drive the car you haven’t lost control, you gave up. Even in a skid you usually still have some control, but people tend to panic and freeze.
As for “speed kills,” that over simplified slogan doesn’t have any real meaning. Note the fatality rate on the German Autobahns is lower than the US Interstates, but their real average speeds are higher.
Uh, sorry, but do you have a reference URL for this gadget. I think this unlikely to be real.
“As for “speed kills,” that over simplified slogan doesn’t have any real meaning. Note the fatality rate on the German Autobahns is lower than the US Interstates, but their real average speeds are higher.”
Please provide a reference for this information. The slogan does have meaning. A driver is much more likely to die at higher speed than lower speeds. It doesn’t comment on the likelihood of having an accident. I will grant that the likelihood of dying does not increase infinitely. It probably flattens out over 60 MPH. After all, there aren’t degrees of death - you are are aren’t dead. And over 60 or so, you are just plain dead.
Here you go: http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/a-slmatr.html
There is an editorial in a recent (past couple of months) Car & Driver which cites the same statistics.
Yes, if the government was serious about stoping speeding, they could have governors installed in every vehicle. They are largely used in the trucking industry. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t create a safety hazard. There is no hazard that can be solved by accelerating that isn’t either easily addressed or caused deliberately in the first place. It will never happen, though. Proposing this would be political suicide. If you think Social Security is the “third rail” of politics, you haven’t seen anything compared to the backlash you would get if Congress wanted to put a governor in every car.
You should read a book called “A Speeder’s Guide to Avoiding Tickets.” It was written by a retired New York state trooper. It is really interesting even if you don’t speed. It talks about how the ticket writing system is corrupt. It talks about the motivation and personality of the average traffic cop. I think it will give you a better understanding of why so much speeding occurs. Enforcement is a joke. If the government really wanted to stop speeding, there are so many way they could accomplish it. They don’t, and the main reason is that there are not a lot of people out there making an issue of it. They would rather enjoy the lackluster enforcement by speeding themselves.
Psychology teaches us that enforcing good behavior is more effective than punishing bad behavior when it comes to modifying behavior of adults. They could use the money they spend on enforcement to reward those who drive the legal speed. They could also install those cameras that they have at intersections on the highway. There are so many viable options out there, but this is not a priority for Joe Sixpack. He is more concerned about gay marriage and fuel prices.
Be honest people, the only time you need speed to be safe, it is because you have put yourself in that position by driving aggressively. Defensive drivers don’t need to speed to be safe. That is a myth created by aggressive drivers to justify their aggressive driving. There is no data, or common sense, to back this up. Any problem that can be solved by accelerating can also be solved by other more defensive more effective methods.
I agree that the OP’s idea won’t work. I even agree, somewhat, that one can drive fast while still minimizing risk. Where we differ is the idea that driving faster, in any situation, somehow makes you safer. Each time you recognize a hazard, you have several options available to you to minimize the risk from the hazard. The only time speeding up is your best option is when your aggressive driving has either created the hazard or increased the potential of the hazard.
It is real. Or rather, it was real. Or maybe it was almost real. Footage of testing this “gadget” was very popular a few years ago, and IIRC, it was basically a little rocket-assisted shuttle that was launched from under the front of the police car, underneath the chassis of the pursued car, where it made contact with the underbody and discharged a powerful electrical current (hopefully disrupting the ignition system sufficiently to kill the car, and taking out the ECM.)
I have not heard about it for quite some time, and I suspect that it was one of those neat ideas that was very hard to implement.
But it DID exist. Sort of.
Be honest people, the only time you need speed to be safe, it is because you have put yourself in that position by driving aggressively. Defensive drivers don’t need to speed to be safe. That is a myth created by aggressive drivers to justify their aggressive driving.
I’m sorry, I disagree with that. Specifically, I disagree with the idea that if you are in a situation where you have to speed, you’ve put yourself there by driving aggressively. Sometimes I have to stomp on it because I’ve -for just a second- stopped paying attention, or I need to get in to a gap in traffic to avoid a road hazard, or because I just realized that I have an exit coming up in 200 yards and I’m in the wrong lane.
Now, I COULD avoid all of those situations by being constantly 100% alert and isolated from sound and unnecessary conversation with my passengers, but I’m a human being and once in a while, the best solution seems to be putting my right foot in the carpet and finding a good, safe position with the flow of traffic.
Fair enough. There are other hairbrained lapses in judgement where accelerating can compensate for your lack of good judgement. Do you think that maybe if your car would only go the speed limit you might pay more attention to the act of driving? I don’t want to put a governor in your car, but if it made you pay more attention to what you are doing, it might actually be a good thing. You only allow yourself to be distracted because you know you can compensate for your lapses in good judgement.
I amend my position. If you need speed in order to be safe, it is because you have put yourself in that position by either driving aggressively or not paying attention to what you are doing, both of which can be easily avoided if you take the act of driving seriously.
Good for you for recognizing that the semi driver was falling asleep, meanjoe75fan. I think you had other viable options besides passing him. What about falling back to a safe distance and calling the police?
Your approach to the problem didn’t alleviate the problem, it only passed it on to the next person. If you are only focused on yourself, your solution is the best. If you are focused on what is best for everyone, including the semi driver, you ignored any commitment to the safety of others.
Well, the reason I have my doubts is the problem of packaging enough electrical power into a small package, plus hitting the body and/or frame of a car with a high voltage is unlikely to stop it. The British Top Gear program tested a car with a lightning strike, and it promptly started up and drove off afterward. Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve6XGKZxYxA
I can believe somebody was trying to promote such a device, I just doubt that it would work.
I’m saying that I’m not perfect, neither is anyone else on the road, and I make a mistake now and again, and cars MUST allow for that.
If we put governors on our cars at 70 mph people are going to be going 70, all traffic is going to be going 70. So if you f*&^ up, buddy, you better have a backup plan. Being as though no one is perfect, if you can’t get ahead of traffic to get to an exit, and there’s no break in traffic, you’re either going to slam on your brakes in the fast lane and wait for a gap so you can swerve across to the exit, you’re just going to force your way in to a gap that’s too small, or you’re going to have to find another exit, probably a long way down the road. Guess which option 90% of the driving populous would take? It ain’t the safe one, I’ll tell you that.
The paradox here is of course, if you can make people in to perfect drivers, then there is no need for a governor, because mistakes won’t happen. But if mistakes are going to happen, their consequences will often be exacerbated by physically governing peoples’ speed.
Here’s something I forgot about.
Many towns here in MA and NH…have in their budgets the amount of money they need to collect for moving violations.
What’s wong with this…is that they actually want to see moving violations go UP (more revenue). If they were really concerned about keeping speeds down…wouldn’t they be working to DECREASE moving violations. One police officer even wrote about it in a Editoral piece. Saying that they (city government) actually calculated the number of tickets the police need to issue before it actually starts to decrease the speeders. So they never cross that line because if speeders drop then revenue drops.
Kinda Sick if you ask me.
If you want to have the Big Brother Speed Governor on your car, it also needs to work in reverse: when everybody else is doing X miles per hour, and you’re doing kX, where 0 < k <= 0.95, your car is automatically imploded, with you in it, for being stupid, oblivious, and clueless that you’re holding up traffic.
What we need are speed limits that are realistic based on the fundamental parameters of the road: curvature, lane width, grade, available sight distance, and context. If the road is a 2-lane road with “regular” (12-foot) lane widths in Kansas that is flat farmland for 10 miles every direction, there is no reason to arbitrarily post a speed limit of 55. Conversely, the speed limit within the city limits of East Nowhere, Kansas – which consists of four stores and a flashing yellow light with the next town 10 miles away – does not need to be 20 either. By the same argument, a surface street in Downtown Chicago shouldn’t be posted at 60.
Thanks for the reference. How does it relate to what I said? It said nothing about the likelihood or seriousness of injury, which was my point. That’s three times I made that point now.
BTW, the German Autobahn has speed limits. There are speed limits for everyone near large cities. In rural area, there are speed limits for heavy trucks - everywhere, no exceptions. The maximum truck speed limit is 100 KPH, or about 62 MPH. So, Germany has a great disparity in vehicle speeds, just like we do.
My experience is that all heavy trucks in Germany obey the speed limit. My cousin told me that is because the police enforce it strictly. He lives there.
To answer the original question, the manufacturers are capable of limiting top speed on current cars. At the moment some manufacturers limit their cars to 250 km/h (155 mph) to prevent excessive speeding; according to this article, these guys are considering getting rid of these “governors” because other manufacturers are building faster cars without limits:
I recall renting a box truck in the 70s and it had a governor to keep renters from going too fast. They have been around for a while.
Yup, very old technology, even easier with computer controlled cars (probably very easy to defeat it too).
“Thanks for the reference. How does it relate to what I said? It said nothing about the likelihood or seriousness of injury, which was my point. That’s three times I made that point now.”
I understand your point, but to simplify that to “speed kills” is an over-simplification. By your reasoning anyone who gets in an accident in a Indy car at 180+MPH will obviously be killed, but that’s not true. The point I was making is that speed is just one factor, and not even the dominant one in highway death rates. As others have pointed out, the original “speed kills” was an anti-drug slogan, but got adopted by the highway safety crowd without giving it much thought. Yes, if you get in an accident at a higher speed you are more likely to be injured or killed, all other things being equal, than at a lower speed. But, all things are rarely equal. There are factors like seatbelt use, type of accident, highway design factors, car design, etc. that all have an influence on how bad a result you get. Head on into an old fashioned bridge abutment at 30MPH in a 58 Buick might get you killed where head on into a modern bridge abutment (with the barrels of sand and guard rails) in a modern car with seatbelts in use and airbags and crumple zones even at 60MPH and you might walk away. It’s just not as simple as “speed kills.”
I’ve driven on the Autobahns. I know they have speed limits, never said they didn’t.
I agree that governors are a bad idea. I just don’t think you need to be perfect to be a good driver. We don’t have governors now and every once in a while I will see an idiot stop in the middle of the highway to make an exit. I have also seen people pull over and back-up on the shoulder. If you miss your exit, get off at the next one and turn around. How hard it that? That is what you are supposed to do in the first place.
I don’t expect perfect drivers. I expect competent drivers who will do the right thing if they miss an exit. You don’t have to be perfect to do that.