Why does your car's speedometer go up to 160 mph?

Why does your car’s speedometer go up to 160 mph?


Washington DC
CNN

apple recently revealed A new version of the CarPlay system for vehicles, which includes gauges such as speedometers. But even Apple, the company that ignored tradition when it reinvented it phones, music players and headphones, bowing to conventions when it comes to speedometers. It offered a classic-style speedometer that reached 160 mph, the auto industry standard.

That’s nearly twice the highest speed limit in the United States, 85 miles per hour, along a stretch of highway in Texas. Why do our speedometers extend to an illegal speed that only race car drivers will reach?

Toyota spokesman Paul Hoggard said the automaker wants the speedometers to be easy to read, so there is a value in setting the typical operating speed of American cars, from 45 mph to 70 mph, he said, at the top of the speedometer. , which is the easiest place on the speedometer to read by the driver. Doing so — while maintaining a similar, visually appealing speedometer — requires a gauge that displays past operating speeds well, he said.

So cars, like some Toyota Corollas, have a speedometer of 160 mph though Do not come close to reaching such speeds.

Speedometers that extend beyond legal driving speeds have long been the norm in the United States, according to speedometer and car safety experts. This trend has continued into the twenty-first century even with the rise in traffic fatalities.

As early as the 1920s, cars could be purchased with speedometers up to 120 mph, according to Bruce Woolsey, president of Bob’s Speedometer, a Michigan-based auto parts supplier.

Woolsey said speedometers shifted to a higher level in the 1950s after Ford and Chrysler introduced their Thunderbirds and 300s, respectively. His speedometers hit 150 mph, he said, and were the starting point for deploying 160 mph speedometers. The first 160 mph speedometer I knew of was a Cunningham C-3 from the 1950s.

Vintage 1955 Ford Thunderbird showing steering wheel and dashboard in teal and aqua colours.  (Photo: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

However, these high speedometers have a controversial history.

Some auto safety experts say long-range speedometers can normalize high-speed driving and subtly contribute to people traveling at dangerous speeds of more than 100mph.

Joanne Claybrook, who served as director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 1977 to 1981, told CNN Business that she was “absolutely angry” at high-speed speedometers during her tenure.

So the NHTSA issued a rule in 1979 that speedometers should not indicate speeds greater than 85 miles per hour.

“The auto industry is getting berserk,” Claybrook recalls. “I won’t budge. I put my body on the line on this.”

Claybrook said speedometers are very dangerous and can prompt young people to test the limits of their cars.

“For kids ages 16 to 25, they always want to get tested,” Claybrook said. “It’s so tempting for the kids to be challenged and go so fast.”

The speedometers were It was rebuilt to comply with the 1979 rule. But this did not last long.

The restriction was abolished once the Reagan administration took office and Claybrook exited.

Jo Young, a spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, told CNN Business that he was not aware of any research examining the relationship between speedometer design and travel speeds. But he said there was no question of a connection.

“It’s not a huge leap to assume drivers might feel more comfortable pushing their speed when there’s still plenty of speedometer to go,” Young said. He said that the relationship between collision velocity and collision energy is not linear, so pushing the velocity a little bit can have serious consequences, Referring to the search results.

Some consumers can view the high-range speedometer as a selling point, as it indicates that the driver has a particularly powerful vehicle.

Many speedometers have switched to a digital display, which exclusively shows the current speed of the car. Apple includes such a potential layout in its CarPlay offering. Apple declined to comment for this story.

The speedometer for Apple Carplay includes a speed limit of 160 mph in one version.

After Claybrook, auto safety leaders turned to other tactics to tackle speed.

NHTSA launched a campaign this week, Speeding Wrecks Lives, which aims to change public attitudes toward speed.

It includes $8 million in media ads targeting drivers between the ages of 18 and 44, who are most likely to be involved in accelerating related fatal accidents, according to NHTSA.

“This guy was running over the speed limit a bit,” narrator Says, shows the driver, before cutting a shot of a child in a hospital bed. “Look at the damage.”

There were 11,258 deaths in speed-related accidents in 2020, according to NHTSA data.

#cars #speedometer #mph

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