GPS-based device won’t let you speed

GPS-based device won’t let you speed


If Transport Canada has its way, technology will conspire to slow drivers down. The government agency is testing a new device that will make it almost impossible to speed.

The new device combines GPS technology and a digital speed limit map. Once the car reaches the speed limit it will become hard to press down the accelerator. This is the first test of this type of device in North America, though it has been tried in Sweden, the Netherlands and Britain.

Speed is a contributing factor in 25 percent of all fatal crashes, so proponents of the device are eager to see the results of the test, which will end this spring. The challenge of further implementation if the test is successful, of course, is that many people simply won’t want to have their speed limited.

GPS technology is also used in a less invasive device. Persentech, a Winnipeg-based company, has designed the Otto Driving Companion. When the speed limit is exceeded a light flashes on the dash-mounted unit and a voice warns them that they are going too fast. The device is already commercially available in Canada for $290, more than 400 have been sold in limited markets to date.

In Europe, there is support for insurance companies to give discounts to users of speed-limiting technology. Some even want the devices to be mandatory in all vehicles.