View Poll Results: Do you think cars should have built-in electronic speed limit

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Thread: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

  1. #311
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    I don't think it has much at all to do with what drivers perceive as safe. If they can show me that they can solve complicated physics equations in their head, in like, three seconds, then maybe I'll believe the line that an individual inherently knows what's safe on the road. The bottom line is that the maximum safe speed, whatever it may be, is a result of a mathematical function, not a personal perception.
    You can certainly put it in terms of mathematics but you'd have to measure people's reaction times in various circumstances and conditions; you'd have to measure each cars responses in steering, suspension, braking, acceleration, etc, etc and update them all as components wear and maintenance is done; you'd have to mark every single section of road to show it's design speed - and a thousands other little things that drivers adjust to everyday just from overall driving experience as well as experience with their vehicle.

    A gymnast doesn't do Newtonian physics in their head when they do a routine on the parallel bars or whatever. They know what their body can do and they do it. Driving is the same way. Spend all your time actually thinking about driving and you'll be paying more attention to your thoughts than to the actual act of driving. What nonsense! You know how far you can see, you can feel the road through the wheel, you feel the slight drift and response of the car from moment to moment - all sorts of little clues that let you know what is and isn't safe and most of them unconscious, just like any other physical endeavor.


    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    That makes sense. People, some in particular, don't want to admit that in general, slower driving = safer driving. The notion that it's the speed differential and not the aggregate speed is a myth. But the trick is to find the right balance between safety and speed.

    Different strokes for different folks. If that turns out to be the dominant trend, then that is a reason to keep highway speed limits LOW and enforce them hard.
    According to the traffic engineers I've talked to, that is the trend, and I've seen it in various studies (like the one you linked), as well. It's why I take the position I do when it comes to speeding. (There are even some situations where I slow down below the average speed because I see a hazard most others apparently don't.) If you push enforcement too much you create problems. If you low-ball the speed limit too much you create problems. Traffic engineers and law enforcement do a balancing act to keep traffic flowing as fast and safe as they can. I don't often question their signage but I do ignore it sometimes and just pay the fine if I'm caught - no harm, no foul.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 02-01-14 at 01:05 AM.
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  2. #312
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    You can certainly put it in terms of mathematics but you'd have to measure people's reaction times in various circumstances and conditions; you'd have to measure each cars responses in steering, suspension, braking, acceleration, etc, etc and update them all as components wear and maintenance is done; you'd have to mark every single section of road to show it's design speed - and a thousands other little things that drivers adjust to everyday just from overall driving experience as well as experience with their vehicle.
    All of which are excellent reasons why we shouldn't necessarily leave people to their own devices. Even if they can somehow, by some miracle, solve a multivariate function in their heads within a fraction of a second, then there are the psychological and physiological factors: Confirmation bias. Cultural expectations. Distractions. Alcohol. Hell, when you think of it in these terms, one wonders why the national speed limit isn't 20 miles per hour.

    A gymnast doesn't do Newtonian physics in their head when they do a routine on the parallel bars or whatever. They know what their body can do and they do it. Driving is the same way. Spend all your time actually thinking about driving and you'll be paying more attention to your thoughts than to the actual act of driving. What nonsense! You know how far you can see, you can feel the road through the wheel, you feel the slight drift and response of the car from moment to moment - all sorts of little clues that let you know what is and isn't safe and most of them unconscious, just like any other physical endeavor.
    Bad analogy. First of all, gymnastics is a spectacularly dangerous sport. Secondly, I am not aware of a single instance of any of those horrific gymnastics injuries that injured an innocent bystander--and if they have occurred, I bet that they are extremely rare. Third, if you want to solve all the physics equations that correspond to this:


    Including margin of error (which is why this was such a spectacular vault!), then be my guest. Take as much time as you need.


    According to the traffic engineers I've talked to, that is the trend, and I've seen it in various studies (like the one you linked), as well. It's why I take the position I do when it comes to speeding. (There are even some situations where I slow down below the average speed because I see a hazard most others apparently don't.) If you push enforcement too much you create problems. If you low-ball the speed limit too much you create problems. Traffic engineers and law enforcement do a balancing act to keep traffic flowing as fast and safe as they can. I don't often question their signage but I do ignore it sometimes and just pay the fine if I'm caught - no harm, no foul.
    Do you realize that you are inadvertently making an argument for keeping speed limits low and strictly enforcing them? I think we need to wake up and ask ourselves, as a nation, when is enough enough? When are we going to stop sacrificing 30,000+ people every year on the altar of reckless, careless, and otherwise dangerous driving? And no that does not immediately imply that speed = bad, and thus, less speed = good. We've got to be able to move from point A to point B. The question is what price we're willing to pay to do so.
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathematician View Post
    I'm going to dodge the question and say we should hurry up and develop automobiles which run only on auto-pilot. This would solve the issue in the OP, plus a significant number of other problems.
    No more DUIs. People could go out and get drunk again, but this time with no fear of hurting or killing anyone, plus no fear of tickets and/or prosecution.
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    No more DUIs. People could go out and get drunk again, but this time with no fear of hurting or killing anyone, plus no fear of tickets and/or prosecution.
    Unless they vomit on the autopilot and it malfunctions.
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    All of which are excellent reasons why we shouldn't necessarily leave people to their own devices. Even if they can somehow, by some miracle, solve a multivariate function in their heads within a fraction of a second, then there are the psychological and physiological factors: Confirmation bias. Cultural expectations. Distractions. Alcohol. Hell, when you think of it in these terms, one wonders why the national speed limit isn't 20 miles per hour.

    Bad analogy. First of all, gymnastics is a spectacularly dangerous sport. Secondly, I am not aware of a single instance of any of those horrific gymnastics injuries that injured an innocent bystander--and if they have occurred, I bet that they are extremely rare. Third, if you want to solve all the physics equations that correspond to this:

    Including margin of error (which is why this was such a spectacular vault!), then be my guest. Take as much time as you need.
    The analogy was about solving equations for physical activities as opposed to just doing it by training your body and using your experience. Apparently you do everything by solving the motion equations, first - makes one wonder how you can even walk down the street. Do you actually have to constantly say to yourself, "I shouldn't go past the curb when there's traffic in the street"?



    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    Do you realize that you are inadvertently making an argument for keeping speed limits low and strictly enforcing them?
    If that's what you're getting from my argument then you're not reading very well. I specifically stated "keep traffic flowing as fast and safe as they can." You seem to have missed that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    I think we need to wake up and ask ourselves, as a nation, when is enough enough? When are we going to stop sacrificing 30,000+ people every year on the altar of reckless, careless, and otherwise dangerous driving? And no that does not immediately imply that speed = bad, and thus, less speed = good. We've got to be able to move from point A to point B. The question is what price we're willing to pay to do so.
    We've made that choice, where have you been? How many years did you drive under the 55 MPH federal speed limit?
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    The analogy was about solving equations for physical activities as opposed to just doing it by training your body and using your experience. Apparently you do everything by solving the motion equations, first - makes one wonder how you can even walk down the street. Do you actually have to constantly say to yourself, "I shouldn't go past the curb when there's traffic in the street"?
    There are clear right-of-way rules for cars and pedestrians. One can choose to follow those rules or to take one's life or future in someone else's hand. For someone to make the case that such right-of-way laws need to be changed or do not deserve to be followed, fine, but the burden is on those who make this choice. Intuition or "I don't like it" is a terrible reason to flaunt a law. One needs to make a clear and convincing case. Demonstrating the appropriate use of mathematical functions would be a good start.

    If that's what you're getting from my argument then you're not reading very well. I specifically stated "keep traffic flowing as fast and safe as they can." You seem to have missed that.
    No--your study implies that people, left to their own devices, will speed no matter what. So the only way to keep people from traveling at very fast speeds is to keep the speed limits down and to enforce them. Hint: This is not something I support doing.

    BTW, my study showed different results. Maybe Atlanta drivers behave in a significantly different way than Indiana drivers do.

    We've made that choice, where have you been? How many years did you drive under the 55 MPH federal speed limit?
    You do know why they lowered the speed limit to 55 for awhile, right? And nowhere did I imply that I favor returning to that. Personally I think that for rural interstates, 80-85 could be a reasonable speed limit under ideal conditions--smooth road, daytime, good visibility, no rain/snow, etc. It seems to work quite well all over Europe.
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    There are clear right-of-way rules for cars and pedestrians. One can choose to follow those rules or to take one's life or future in someone else's hand. For someone to make the case that such right-of-way laws need to be changed or do not deserve to be followed, fine, but the burden is on those who make this choice. Intuition or "I don't like it" is a terrible reason to flaunt a law. One needs to make a clear and convincing case. Demonstrating the appropriate use of mathematical functions would be a good start.

    No--your study implies that people, left to their own devices, will speed no matter what. So the only way to keep people from traveling at very fast speeds is to keep the speed limits down and to enforce them. Hint: This is not something I support doing.
    Finally found what I've been looking for. The 85% is a standard reference for all streets and highways.
    Speed limits should be determined by an Engineering and.Traffic Study of the street section involved. Of consideration in reviewing a speedlimit change should be the 85th percentile speed (at which 85% of the traffic is traveling slower than this speed), the location of sidewalks, driveways, obstructions, the horizontal and vertical alignment of the street, the use of the street by pedestrians and the existence of hazards which-are not easy to detect by drivers.
    Speed.
    Drivers generally ignore posted speed limits, and travel at speeds which the “drivers consider reasonable, comfortable, convenient and safe under existing conditions. Drivers appear not to operate by the speedometer, but by the conditions they meet.
    http://www.ite.org/traffic/documents/Tcir0365b.pdf

    ITE = Institute of Traffic Engineers





    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    BTW, my study showed different results. Maybe Atlanta drivers behave in a significantly different way than Indiana drivers do.

    You do know why they lowered the speed limit to 55 for awhile, right? And nowhere did I imply that I favor returning to that. Personally I think that for rural interstates, 80-85 could be a reasonable speed limit under ideal conditions--smooth road, daytime, good visibility, no rain/snow, etc. It seems to work quite well all over Europe.
    You referenced the Indiana study, not me. I just quoted numbers from it.

    The Atlanta study just tells me they had the right speed limit to start with. You can't compare the two studies without knowing the exact conditions and specs on the roadways in question. We have no clue what the Atlanta road is/was like. The Indiana data is an average of many highways, a much better metric than one given section of highway.


    I know why 55, I was there.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 02-03-14 at 02:47 PM.
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  8. #318
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Finally found what I've been looking for. The 85% is a standard reference for all streets and highways.

    http://www.ite.org/traffic/documents/Tcir0365b.pdf

    ITE = Institute of Traffic Engineers
    Right, that's one of the standards that's supposed to be used to establish the speed limit. Honest question here: Is that 85th-percentile assumed to be constant when establishing the limit?

    You referenced the Indiana study, not me. I just quoted numbers from it.

    The Atlanta study just tells me they had the right speed limit to start with. You can't compare the two studies without knowing the exact conditions and specs on the roadways in question. We have no clue what the Atlanta road is/was like. The Indiana data is an average of many highways, a much better metric than one given section of highway.


    I know why 55, I was there.
    Well I was there in Atlanta, so I guess that makes us even. Again, different strokes for different folks. Various people in different parts of the country have considerably different driving habits. How they react to changing speed limits may vary as well. That's why we need more information.
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    Built in speed limits? Maybe... as long as the car adjusts to the speed limit that you are in. Don't see how that is possible though. Otherwise, If you have a speed limit at 70mph for highways then you could drive 70 in a 30 zone and that defeats the purpose.
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    Re: Should cars have built-in speed limit?

    What they SHOULD have are built in breathalyzers that won't start engine unless you are under the limit...
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