25 Apr 23

Achieving Safer US fleets through Intelligent Speed Assist

Killing over 11,000 people per year or an average of more than 30 people per day, driving over the speed limit is a major factor when it comes to traffic deaths and injuries in the United States.

Of all traffic fatalities in 2020, speeding was a factor in 29% of the cases, according to local nonprofit safety advocate National Safety Council (NSC)

It was a factor in fatal crashes for:

  • 19% of drivers on dry roads
  • 21% on wet roads
  • 33% on roads with snow or slush
  • 45% on roads with moving or standing water
  • 42% on roads with mud, dirt, or gravel
  • 42% on roads with ice or frost

The total number of fatal motor-vehicle crashes in the US attributable to speeding in 2020 was 10,136, according to NSC

These statistics have spurred a movement to help cut down on speeding on American roads. To address matters, transportation organizations in the US are pushing local governments to utilize a driver speed control technology known as Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) under a project called the Safer Fleets Challenge initiative.

Currently, the initiative is aimed at getting 50 US communities to install the technology in municipally owned fleets by 2025. It is already required in new cars in Europe and has already been piloted in government-owned vehicles in New York City, according to local mobility portal StreetsBlog.

ISA systems, which use GPS or road-sign recognition cameras to detect current speed limits, warn drivers to slow down when speeding or automatically throttle the car’s velocity accordingly. The technology, however, has an override option which allows motorists to speed up briefly to pass.

If accepted by municipalities, the team behind the initiative seeks to push federal regulators to make ISA equipment required in all new cars. The upfront costs, according to the speed limiting pilot program, is at least $1,100 per retrofitted vehicle so this may deter fleet operators who are thinking more short term. 

Why wait?

For fleet operators, similar technologies can be deployed in your fleet today by way of telematics and even at lower costs. Although there will be some complaints from employees, retrofitting vehicles with such technology helps to discipline drivers by reducing speeding, harsh braking, and other bad habits.

Moreover, expenses can be controlled through the reduction of fuel usage and by reducing accident-related costs such as hospital bills, vehicle damage repairs, and lawsuits.

To learn more about the offerings of fleet and mobility solutions being offered by players from around the world – including telematics-based safety solutions, meet your colleagues, peers, and competitors at the 2023 Global Fleet Conference taking place 15-17 May in Portugal.


Both photos: copyright Shutterstock


Authored by: Daniel Bland