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Device Stops Speeders From Inside Car

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the will-it-help-me-parallel-park-too dept.

Privacy 781

frdmfghtr writes "CNN reports that the Canadian government is testing a new anti-speeding device." From the article: "The system being tested by Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Transportation, uses a global positioning satellite device installed in the car to monitor the car's speed and position. If the car begins to significantly exceed the speed limit for the road on which it's traveling the system responds by making it harder to depress the gas pedal, according to a story posted on the Toronto Globe and Mail's Website."

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well.... (4, Funny)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179816)

It looks like we would all need tin foil hats for our cars......

Re:well.... (3, Funny)

flawedgeek (833708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179822)

Or just a tinfoil car.

Re:well.... (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179872)

It looks like we would all need tin foil hats for our cars......
Reminds me of mythbusters where they actually wrapped a car in foil to see if it would affect radar.

Your Rights Online: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179999)

I'm glad that stopping speeders on roadways will protect my rights a I surf the 'Net.

Hopefully the GPS will work when ....... (1)

Nemo Black (651003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180008)

they have to dig your car out of the debris that either a volcano or tsunami piles on top of your car because you couldn't get out of the area fast enough. Here in Washington State, either scenario is possible.

I haven't RTFA, but I can only assume that there is some room to allow for the
use of evasive high speed when necessary.

-Nemo
(Just waiting for the next post: "Hey look, they found Nemo" :)

Hang on... (2, Insightful)

gregbains (890793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179818)

This seems a little complex, "making it harder to press the gas pedal".

Why not just use a cruise control type system to limit the speed?

Re:Hang on... (4, Insightful)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179850)

because overtaking is sometimes a good thing.

Re:Hang on... (5, Insightful)

Artega VH (739847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179895)

Because limiting the speed can actually be dangerous in certain circumstances.

Say you're driving along a two lane road (1 lane in both directions) stuck behind a slow truck. Cars are piled up behind you. I'm sure most drivers have been in this situation before. When you overtake the car behind you will move up to your old position stopping you from going back. If while you're on the wrong side of the road you see a car coming towards you it may be necessary to speed to complete the overtaking move. The proposed system would appear to allow for this while a set speed limiter may not. I'd prefer to speed than to die wouldn't you?

Re:Hang on... (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180065)

Say you're driving along a two lane road (1 lane in both directions) stuck behind a slow truck. Cars are piled up behind you. I'm sure most drivers have been in this situation before. When you overtake the car behind you will move up to your old position stopping you from going back.

Not to speak of the simple fact that it's in your best interest on a staightway to be in the oncomming lane for as little as possible. In fact I was taught in driving school that +15mph over either the posted limit is acceptable. While I'm sure such a system would take this into account I prefer having the control my self... being able to make my choice for the given situation. Though I would not object to a GPS based cruse control that would offer me a reccomended speed given the traffic conditions and my option to use it or not.

Re:Hang on... (2, Interesting)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179954)

I like the way the Canadian government does it. It only slows you down after it catches you, but before they give you a ticket. This system could save me about a $50 a year.

Re:Hang on... (1)

winwar (114053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179962)

"Why not just use a cruise control type system to limit the speed?"

Beacause in portions of the US (don't know about Canada) it is LEGAL to exceed the speed limit to pass vehicles in certain situations? Then there is a little issue about safety....

Re:Hang on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180033)

Well, either way it is a safety issue. If you can't control the speed of your vehicle, meaning in some cases exceeding the speed limit to avoid unsafe conditions (rare, but very much possible), you are at the mercy of this tech. And if it blue screens.... ???

But, in the United States at least, I know the real reason this won't go into effect. It would provide far too much info on how common speeding is, how it does not rountinely lead to unsafe conditions (there'd be a whole lot more crashes if it did), and that with the prior info firmly established, the whole police-ticket-free-money-for-localities-near-highw ays system would break down. That last part, the ticketing system for doing something potentially unsafe which brings in unGodly sums of revenue, is why this system won't be allowed to be put into place it the United States.

Before this is over...... (5, Insightful)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179823)

we'll think we're the luckiest people in the world just to be allowed IN the damn car, nevermind the fact that it'll only go where the Cognizant Authorities tell it to go, when and how they prescribe.

heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179824)

Canada, leading the way in anti-depress-ants!

Chase scenes? (5, Funny)

Dashing Leech (688077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179825)

This'll ruin chase scenes in movies. I guess they can't film in Canada anymore. If they get this in L.A., what will they put on the news?

Re:Chase scenes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179908)

we will see slow-motion chase scenes from now on.

Re:Chase scenes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179928)

chase scene speed * 5

Re:Chase scenes? (1)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179987)

Maybe they'll try to frame O.J. again and we can be treated to yet another thrilling adventure where ninety thousand cops idle down the freeway after a white ford bronco?

first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179826)

first post!

Over Engineering (2, Insightful)

Dial-Up (842218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179827)

Wouldn't it just be easier and cheaper to use the internal computers to do that? The cars with the digital spedometers know how fast you're going for sure, the analogue ones probably do too.

Re:Over Engineering (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179897)

Couldn't someone change the tires to go faster?

No. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179917)

Would these internal computers be able to determine the position of the car?

This detail is important because the speed limit varies from area to area, and it really sounds more cost effective to set up a central database to determine the speed limit as the cars move from point.A to point.B, and if it were to exceed the limit, just send a blip to the offending car's real-time digital speedometer (I'd assume) and the car's gas-petal would increase resistance.

Re:Over Engineering (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179920)

And how exactly do the internal speedometers know what street you're on? :)This whole thing is dumb idea anyway, sooo many problems with it its not even funny, not the least of which includes that I don't need my car functioning differently when I'm trying to speed up to avoid a car swerving into my rear.
Regards,
Steve

would this have any effect... (3, Funny)

Daspek (132130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179829)

but would this have any effect on people with lead feet?

Re:would this have any effect... (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180047)

Very much so, unless they ALSO have tinfoil hats.

Where can I sign up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179838)

Dammit, the Canadians always get the good stuff.

How reliable is this stuff (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179839)

How reliable is this? If it were to malfunction, couldn't this cause some pretty massive wrecks? How can we trust this? Where can I buy a tin-foil hat for my car?

Re:How reliable is this stuff (1)

Puf_Almighty (904515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179991)

That's why they use that funny phrase, "being tested".

Full Monty (1, Redundant)

fembots (753724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179840)

making it harder to depress the gas pedal

Why doesn't this monitoring device simply slow the car down to the legal speed limit by cutting off gas?

Re:Full Monty (1, Redundant)

nincehelser (935936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179913)

Because sometimes it is necessary to exceed the speed limit (e.g. a medical emergency). Making it hard to press down on the pedal is just more feedback to the driver that they may be going too fast...kind of like speed bumps and rumble strips. They don't want to force the car to go slower...just to inform the driver that they're going too fast.

Re:Full Monty (0, Redundant)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179921)

Why doesn't this monitoring device simply slow the car down to the legal speed limit by cutting off gas?

You don't want a permanent "you may only go the speed limit" restriction. There are times (driving a ill or injured person to the hospital, for instance) that you need to speed.

All this does is remind people gently what the speed limit is and make them conscious of the fact they're breaking the law.

Re:Full Monty (3, Insightful)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180010)

IF you are going to allow a monitoring system inside the car, and IF you are just trying to remind the driver they are speeding, then why bother engineering a mechanical system at all? A noisemaker would be cheaper.

Re:Full Monty (4, Interesting)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180063)

A noisemaker would be cheaper.

It would, and my car (a 1989 Mercury Cougar) has the old-school (non-GPS) variant on that called a speed alarm. Basically, you set the alarm at your cruising speed and it tells you when you've gone 5 mph over the set speed with a little beep (it starts flashing as soon as you go over, if I remember correctly).

The problem with it is that it's not directly connected to the thought of speeding. There have been many-a-time that I've heard the beeping and thought "What the hell?", even though I personally set the speed I wanted to go not five minutes earlier.

If you're going to help people remember that pushing the gas pedal right now may not be the best of ideas, then the least distracting and most direct way to do it is to rig the gas pedal in this manner.

Besides, in order to get over the noise of the radio and cell phone, do you know how loud that sucker would have to be?

Although there's an idea... If you speed, you don't get any music or radio. Because, obviously, you need all your attention on the road right then.

Re:Full Monty (4, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180053)

There are times (driving a ill or injured person to the hospital, for instance) that you need to speed.

Those are not legitimate reasons to drive at excessive speeds. Accelerating out of a dangerous traffic situation: yes. Shaving fifty seconds off a ten minute drive to the emergency room at the risk of colliding with another car, rolling over in a ditch, or wrapping around a tree: absolutely fucking NOT. Look at how fast ambulances drive. They don't exceed the speed limit. Honestly, where do people get the idea that careening down city streets at 80mph is a smart way to transport people to the hospital?

Cruise-control a DMCA circumvention device? (2, Interesting)

Stele (9443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179842)

I wonder how long before people will be sued for using their cruise control to bypass the rigid accelerator pedal? Under the DMCA of course.

Re:Cruise-control a DMCA circumvention device? (3, Insightful)

anitha cn- (863678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180006)

Seeing as this is in Canada, and the DMCA is an American act, I doubt the DMCA applies.

Safety issues? (5, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179843)

What a stupid idea. In an emergency, it may be necessary to accelerate quickly, e.g. to get out of the way of another vehicle that's swerving into your lane, etc. If the behavior of the gas pedal suddenly changes in the middle of a crisis, it could CAUSE an accident.

Or, let's say you've got a 25mph residential street that turns onto a 50mph highway. You're driving along at 50mph, and suddenly the GPS system mistakenly thinks you're close enough to the residential street that you should now be going 25mph. The ensuing weirdness with the gas pedal distracts the driver for a moment. Fantastic.

Have you ever seen an incorrect (possibly simply out of date) street on Mapquest/Yahoo/Google Maps? I wonder how that sort of thing might affect this.

I would have no problem with using this technology to light up a warning light on the dashboard or something, but directly affecting the control of the vehicle sounds like a VERY bad idea to me. As long as we still trust humans to operate the steering wheel, we need to trust them to operate the gas as well.

Re:Safety issues? (1)

TurtleBlue (202905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179974)

Agreed - while I think the intent will be good (to slow drivers down) this seems like a pretty good case of the "Law of Unintended Consequences" needing to be explored more. Otherwise, we'll see a host of accidents or wrongful death suits when someone's trying to rush a person to a hospital.

I'll say more once the Canadian Government decides what "excessive speed" is (didn't RTFA, don't know if they say). That seems to be the the kicker to this whole arrangement. 70 in a 65 - no. 110 in a 25 - yes. The middle ground: ?

Re:Safety issues? (1)

TurtleBlue (202905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180011)

> 70 in a 65 - no. 110 in a 25 - yes. The middle ground: ?

Oops - forgot my Canadian bretheren, make that:
110 in a 105 - no. 175 in a 40 - yes.

And I probably shouldn't admit that I'm a contractor for NASA.

Re:Safety issues? (0)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180003)

In an emergency, it may be necessary to accelerate quickly, e.g. to get out of the way of another vehicle that's swerving into your lane, etc. If the behavior of the gas pedal suddenly changes in the middle of a crisis, it could CAUSE an accident.

My first instinct in a "oh-my-god-I'm-going-to-crash" situation isn't the accelerator (since if I'm going to get hit, I want to avoid increasing my momentum so I don't go careening off wildly and compound the problem). But, even if there is a situation where the answer is "go faster", it's unlikely to be "go 63% faster" but rather "pedal to the floor". Since we're talking about a difference in pressure and not in response (max speed is still max speed), the probability of this making a difference is low (though, granted, not non-zero). The probability of it being blamed, of course, is nearly 100%.

Or, let's say you've got a 25mph residential street that turns onto a 50mph highway. You're driving along at 50mph, and suddenly the GPS system mistakenly thinks you're close enough to the residential street that you should now be going 25mph. The ensuing weirdness with the gas pedal distracts the driver for a moment. Fantastic.

I don't trust the technology sufficiently either to make this sort of distinction and I don't want to pass judgment without seeing some trials with it...

But, of course, I'll defend it anyways just for the fun of it. The gas pedal isn't locked but harder to press. Assuming we're talking about an accurate change of zone and a difference of less than (let's be generous) a quarter of a mile, you shouldn't be accelerating into it anyways. But, since the accelerator isn't locked, you still could (but you'd be more aware of it) and you could always just coast into the lower speed zone. It's not like they're hitting the brakes for you.

Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179848)

Dupey mcdupenstein. And this is why I don't even bother with getting a free account.

And who defines "significantly?" (1)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179851)

Hell, why not just issue a speeding ticket out of the dashboard?

"John Spartan, you are fined one credit for violation of the verbal language statute..."

Seriously, though, this is just a bit too invasive.

Re:And who defines "significantly?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179973)

how the hell is this inavsive? the tracked speed does not need to be beamed back home. the GPS receiver computes coordinates and then speed. all it needs to do is receive. it sends out **nothing**.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179853)

In Soviet Russia, you push car pedal.
In Canada, car pedal pushes you.

If they ever actually REQUIRE this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179857)

...I hope they require it in all police cars, too.

This is insanity (3, Insightful)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179858)

From time to time it becomes necessary to punch the hell out of the gas pedal to get out of a situation where you are about to get killed by another vehicle driven by a fucktard. The idea that my car is going to start resisting me when I try to get out of that fucktard's way is unacceptable. I hope this dies a quick death and doesn't gain any interest in the US. M.A.D. This isn't just a bad idea. This is a top ten bad idea.

Crippling our vehicles is a bad idea (2, Insightful)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179865)

What if someone had an emergency and needed to speed (even if it's wreckless to do so anyways)?

What if someone is pregnant or hurt seriously and needed to get to the hospital quick? What if it's the dead of night and no one is on the road? Do you follow the 55 mph speed limit (yes, I know it's Canada, not America) or do you proceed to go up to 70-80 mph?

Re:Crippling our vehicles is a bad idea (3, Funny)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179902)

I would hope people try to drive wrecklessly. I believe the word you were looking for was recklessly.

Re:Crippling our vehicles is a bad idea (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179989)

It's Canada. What's the point of driving 70mph in an emergency to get to a hospital where you're going to have to wait for six months before they'll see you? :D

Get the government out of my car (3, Insightful)

Kotukunui (410332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179867)

I would never voluntarily buy a car that had those restrictive devices placed on it. If it were made mandatory by government order, I would vote for any political party that promised to remove those restrictions.

I take responsibility for the task of driving, thank you.
It's all those other nutcases out there that need to be regulated.(irony intended)

or build yourself one of these... (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179868)

CameraWatch2. Gives acoustic warning on overspeed.

Prior Art (5, Funny)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179869)

We already have this -- It's called a Wife. They alert you when you're going over the speed limit and make it increasingly difficult to press on the accelerator.

Re:Prior Art (2, Funny)

KrancHammer (416371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179993)

Well, think of this as an accessibility aid for those among us who have ynecological deficiency disorder.

Re:Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180029)

You'll find she's less of a nuisance if you keep in the back seat!

That sounds like a silly idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179871)

So they'll just get rear-ended a lot by peolpe who are on vacation, won't they?

Tunnels? (2, Funny)

Zorgoth (68241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179874)

What happens in a tunnel? No signal, I would assume, yet one would hope the car continues to operate normally. If that is the case, just surround the receiver with lead and block the signal to the car. Problem solved.

lol (1)

nexcomlink (930801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179875)

I bet they actually mean't it would be harder for you to press the brake pedal so you can just fall off the bridge and die. Then they make a great example of you. God Bless America.

Re:lol (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179963)

I bet they actually mean't it would be harder for you to press the brake pedal so you can just fall off the bridge and die.

I think Ted Kennedy was on the pilot program for this.

God Bless America.

Maybe so, but this article refers to Canada.

Police cars, ambulances and the like (1)

Nifrith (860526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179877)

While this is a great idea, such items wouldn't be installed in police cars, for instance.
This makes polices chases much more boring, sadly, as the criminal would be better off running.
But this also makes the emergency services' various vehicles much more lucrative car-jacking targets.
The last thing we want to see is a police car chasing an ambulance down the motorway.

will this also work for grannies? (4, Funny)

victorvodka (597971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179878)

If the scope of this system can be expanded such that it can also make the brake harder to depress when the driver is driving less than the speed limit, that would be like totally awesome. I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck behind a granny (or person with Florida tags), wincing in anticipation of every curve in the road, no matter how gentle, which I know will bring up those infernal brake lights. And, just as a tangent, simply because there's a car in the oncoming lane doesn't mean a rapid deceleration is prudent!

wrong use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179880)

What stops the wrong guys from using it?

Not safe (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179881)

What happens if you need to accelerate to avoid a crash?

Re:Not safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179986)

Then you push harder, duh.

Personally, I'd like some kind of feedback mechanism like this, I'm a tall guy, so even large cars are kind of cramped, and I never manage to fit in the same way twice in a row, so my foot is never in the same place or angle on the pedals. The net result is that I have to watch what I'm doing, because every trip out is like driving a new car with completely different responses.

A noticable "notch" in the feel of the pedal would help me a lot.

Re:Not safe (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179996)

Personally, I'd rather *DE*cellerate to avoid a crash, as the slower my vehicle is moving, the less damage it can potentially inflict on another person, who in a crisis situation, I could easily overlook or not notice. Meanwhile, I will trust the collapse zones in the body of the car I'm in to protect my person from the impact of a vehicle that collides with my own. I'm not about to do something where I could be endangering somebody else to a greater degree just because my own car is about to be hit.

Cars can be replaced. People, not so much.

Re:Not safe (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180043)

> Personally, I'd rather *DE*cellerate to avoid a crash,

It's easy to imagine situations where you can only accelerate to avoid the crash.

Work out... (1)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179883)

Cool, if I lived in Canada, then I could get a leg work out while driving to college every morning...

The logical next step... (0, Troll)

calharding (897307) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179884)

...would obviously be tracking-devices you carry on your person which can monitor exactly where you are and what you're doing and can automatically dispatch the proper authorities whenever you perform something illegal.

Hell, why stop there? Why not a cranial implant that can monitor your cerebral activity. Then as soon as you just think something along the lines of "I hate Bush" or "I like Islam" you're immediately put on the governments list of individuals to keep an eye on and deny passports.

*goes back to reading Orwell*

lawsuits forthcoming (3, Insightful)

ChazeFroy (51595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179886)

How long until the makers and implementers of this device are sued when a driver cannot escape from a raging lunatic or stalker who is in pursuit?

Speeding is not always bad, what about... (2, Insightful)

PlayfullyClever (934896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179893)

Anyone think of the instances where going above the speed limit is necessary - traffic issues, defensive driving, emergencies? This program seems like it would put more hassle than anything. If you are in a hurry, you shouldn't speed (that is right) - but if there is an emergency, or if you are avoiding a traffic accident, going above the speed limit is basically needed. I think more thought should be put into this program first before they force these sort of regulations without any exceptions. Think of not being able to do a manuever to avoid an accident because your car limits you.

Plus, everyone's seen school buses with their regulators, going 60mph on the highway. No one wants to be like them.

Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179896)

Who is this being marketed at? Is it for car rental agencies? They have already used GPS to monitor where you take their cars and, at times, fining you for taking it out of state. I hardly believe that anyone expects this to be put into regular cars. (not even in Canada)

This will make things so much safer! (3, Insightful)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179905)

How many times have you been passed by some idiot who barely makes it between you and the semi barreling down on him? Imagine what's going to happen to you when he can't accelerate any faster and swings the steering wheel into your car at the last second when he realizes he's not going to make it? Awesome! Safety!

If everyone was logical, rational, and never did anything stupid, this would be fine... but the stupidity of others is always going to put people in danger, and this will just make it worse.

This is a dupe!! (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179906)

Yes, it's true. Sigh.

No Way! (1)

NinjaFodder (635704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179907)

All I can say is that Bo and Luke Duke would be pissed...

Wondering what to think (1)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179912)

Frankly, I can go either way on this one. In the obvious sense, it limits freedom insofar as one cannot choose to greatly exceed the speed limit.

On the other hand, it would mean eliminating the need for traffic officers in police forces. It would mean no more speeding tickets since the system would automatically enforce it - in fact, I've always wondered why cars weren't required to install a governer that prevented them from going above 90MPH (25MPH greater than the highest speed limit I've seen in the United States).

Do people really believe in speed limits? If so, I think this device could be a good way of limiting the number and severity of accidents. Would you be willing to give up your freedom (as well as fellow drivers) to speed to be a lot safer? What about to never have to worry about speeding tickets ever again? What if it allowed you to exceed the speed limit by 25% (81.25MPH in a 65 area and 43.75 in a 35 area)?

Frankly, this device could lead to liberalization of speed zones since enforcement would be 100%. Like, there's an unspoken rule that you have to be going at least 5-10MPH over to get a speeding ticket, but this device could automatically give you that leway and then enforce when you go above that.

I tend to go a little more toward regulation, so I'd like to hear if anyone else thinks this is too big brother.

Re:Wondering what to think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179960)

Speeding really isn't what causes accidents. Its people driving recklessly in the first place. The media and law enforcement try to overblow the situation by exaggerating the significance of high speed accidents when the bulk of traffic accidents are done at low speeds. It is the poor drivers that needs to be checked.

Cops are not really interested in enforcing good driving habits (because that would take alot more work than just setting up a speed trap with your in dash radar while you eat doughnuts all day), they just want the revenue involved with writing speeding citations, so I don't think this device will be popular because the cops wont be writing any more tickets and any automatic enforcement money would probably not go to local municipalities.

Re:Wondering what to think (1)

Hydroksyde (910948) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180000)

The 'governer' is not a bad idea, in fact I have heard of some particularly powerful cars that are required to have one in certain countries (This was just hearsay, though).

The problem with the canadian scheme is that taking away the driver's control of a car and giving it to an automated system (and they never fail) is dangerous.

Re:Wondering what to think (1)

goober1473 (714415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180031)

There are plenty of cars in the UK that have a govenor - 155mph is the limit as insurance companies enforce this, my car has one and it works too. I have no idea why 155 is the limit at the fastest allowed by law is 70mph, but then I could drive to germany and there's no limit on the autobahn.

Re:Wondering what to think (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180004)

so I'd like to hear if anyone else thinks this is too big brother.

Pretty much, yeah. Besides, your argument is flawed where you say that this would eliminate "the need for traffic officers in police forces". Historically, it simply doesn't work that way. And one might argue that now there's a cop in every car - so it would be an increase of them.

Re:Wondering what to think (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180044)

75 limit near Tuscon, and I swear I've seen 80 before.

Problems (1)

Chrontius (654879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179916)

Two questions really need addressing: GPS accuracy and "Oh Shit" moments.

Oh Shit moments are when you're in a small convertible with a large pickup behind you in a one-lane road. The pickup is doing twice the speed limit. You can't accelerate fast enough anyway (personal experience) to avoid an accident even without this.

GPS accuracy: Not as much of a problem now, but if this system doesn't give you the benefit of the doubt, it could slow you down to 25 every time you hit an intersection with a smaller street. If the person following you is driving an old car without this system, you're about to get slammed in the ass-end.

My car is already crippled. (1, Informative)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179919)

I drive a 1999 BMW 323is that is regulated to go no faster than 130 miles per hour. It's actually a pretty neat system - the engine is racing and making a lot of racket when you hit that speed (not that I ever have, mind you). Then it goes over the 130 MPH limit and the gas cuts out and it stops making noise. Then you fall under 130 MPH and the gas cuts back in. Then... you get the idea.

Calculating speed with GPS and making the gas pedal harder to push seems a little overly complicated.

Re:My car is already crippled. (1)

NinjaFodder (635704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179943)

You car isn't the only one. I've been in a Ford Explorer and a Dodge Neon that have both done that at ~100MPH.

Re:My car is already crippled. (1, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179951)

They use those systems because of the tires on the car. It's been common on cars to have governors for years, I think since the mid 80s on GM cars for example.

This system is to implement a dynamic system based on the speed limit where the car is at any given time.

Auto manufacturers? (1)

JWtW (875602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179926)

How will they get auto manufacturers to install this device in the cars? Who would voluntarily install it in their cars--unless it was to protect (read--govern) your teenager?

My only thought as to how this could be implemented is through some sort of punitive measure, tantamount to the breathalyzers put into the vehicles of drunk drivers. I didn't read that in the article, however.

If they get the auto manufacturers to comply, it would truly be scary.

Still pointing at the wrong problem... (5, Interesting)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179933)

I will lose all respect of the Canadian government if they actually try to implement such a device. I thought that the German Autobahn should've been a lesson to the world that it's not speed in itself that is dangerous, it's having unsafe cars being driven on unsafe roads by irresponsible people.

What do the Germans have that we don't? Are they smarter (don't answer that), are they better drivers, do they have better roads ? Well the answer is IMHO yes. They aren't smarter, but they are more responsible behind the wheel... they aren't better drivers, their driving license is MUCH harder to get; they have better roads, but they also have WELL MAINTAINED CARS.

So in essence, the Germans are happily driving at 250+ Km/h on their autobahns without having significantly more accidents than us, because they have much higher standards when it comes to issuing drivers' licenses, they have suited roads, and their cars go through a very strict mechanical check-up every year, to make sure they are road-legal.

So stop pointing fingers at just speed, and start admitting that the reason we crash as much as we do is because we have too many sh*tty cars with sh*tty drivers. Period.

Re:Still pointing at the wrong problem... (1)

NinjaFodder (635704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179979)

First, the German Autobahn does have speed limits. Yes, there are wide stretches of it that have "End of Restriction" signs (essentially no speed limit), but much of the road does.

Also, if you're in an accident on the Autobahn and you've been traveling at > 140 Km/h, you are legally at fault- Period.

The average driver on the Autobahn goes about 70 MPH, not 150 MPH.

Re:Still pointing at the wrong problem... (2, Informative)

jesterpilot (906386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180058)

Research showed an increase of rougly 3% in accidents for every increase of 1 km/h in average speed on a given road. You can find a report here: http://www.swov.nl/rapport/Factsheets/Factsheet_Sn elheid.pdf [www.swov.nl] but it's Dutch, and a pdf.

NO fucking way! (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179940)

There's no fucking i'm voting for any moron proposing such a thing.

God forbid! (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179959)

God forbid you ever have a wife who becomes pregnant... and carries the baby to term... and you have to speed to the hospital... ... I WISH I COULD GO FASTER HONEY, BUT THE CANADIAN SPEED NAZIS HAVE RUINED MY LIFE!

Re:God forbid! (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180046)

So have the baby at home. People have only been doing it for...hmm... every century of the human race, save the last one.

My wife calls them 'hospital moms' and 'too posh to push', they have to rush to the hospital for an epidural or their life is over. Give me a break.

GPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179968)

Uh, why not just use the car's speedometer? Doesn't it have a much better idea of how fast the car is moving than GPS could figure out?

But yeah, horrible horrible idea. Changing how a car works in the middle of the game is going to cause accidents. Can you imagine if you were in the middle of passing a car on a 2-lane highway and suddenly the car stops accelerating?

Remove even more personal responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179975)

This is a stupid idea. If you can't control a car in such a way that you need a device to stop you from speeding then you shouldn't be driving. It isn't that hard. If someone consistently proves they can't drive to the limits then don't let them drive. Don't fine them, don't take them to court. Take their car off them and sell it.

I'm in favor (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179998)

The day these start getting installed is the day the public wakes up and we can start getting rid of most of the stupid traffic laws, starting with the completely unnecessary speed limits.

If everyone who broke a traffic law got caught every time, all the traffic laws would get repealed immediately. Freedom would finally be returned to the roads.

This reminds me of ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180020)

Several lifetimes ago, I had a Subaru XT, a fun little coupe with one of the most useless standard "features" I've seen in a car.

Subaru called it a "Daddy alarm". It was a switch that could be locked into the "on" position by a key (separate from the ignition key). When engaged, the vehicle would sound an alarm whenever the vehicle speed exceeded 55MPH. It was about as annoying as the seatbelts-are-not-fastened-so-why-are-you-trying -to-start-the-engine alarm.

I can't imagine a teenager for which this would provide even the slightest deterrent. Just crank up the stereo and let 'er rip!

police have been doing this internally for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180028)

I personally installed a system to track rpms/mph on police units here in the US more than 5 years ago. It consisted of a tracking device(black box) that was hidden on a random vehicle every shift, which was monitored on a pc at a centralized location.

Red Barchetta (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180041)

87 comments - and not a one mentioning Red Barchetta? What is wrong with you people?

rtfa (1)

Puf_Almighty (904515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180051)

From TFA:
"The system being tested by Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Transportation, uses a global positioning satellite device installed in the car to monitor the car's speed and position."
"The agency is also testing another system that warns drivers with a voice alarm and a light whenever they start to speed"

It's being tested. That means if it results in lots of people getting in wrecks all the time, they will probably modify it not to do so, what with wrecks being generally not profitable to the DoT (canadian or otherwise). Plus they are doing the thing where they buzz a light and say "John Spartan fined 1 credit for violation of the profanity statute".
If you want to be pissed at it for being invasive and not allowing you to break the law, just say so. You don't have to phrase the gripe in terms of things that you think will convince law people.

Warning indicators would be better (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180052)

Perhaps a warning light on the dash, and maybe an intermittent warning bell sounding (sort of like what happens when you leave your keys in the ignition and open the driver's side door) would be *FAR* preferable, and probably far less expensive to implement. That way, you remind people when they are exceeding the speed limit and give them the opportunity to slow down of their own volition.

Implementing this technology is going to create a problem in a few years when people start getting off of otherwise legitimate traffic tickets on the premise that "my car didn't stop me from going that fast".

Exercise! (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180061)

Thus, Canada develops the solution to the lack of exercise of a modern person:

Give them the exercise when they try to speed by making them press harder.

PS: Kudos to Canada for making them press harder instead of just limiting the speed. Sometimes you need to speed to get out of the way of a dangerous driver (a timer would help with this too). I would hope they would limit the speed when it rains/snows too as around here (Kansas USA) there are many idiots who think a downpour or slush doesn't have any effect on their cars' handling.

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