DOT Considers Mandated Speed Governors on Heavy Trucks
Proponents Cite Safety Gains, Fuel Savings
The trajectory of automotive technology is relentlessly forward, with ever more sophisticated technology the name of the game, from passenger cars all the way up to commercial vehicles. Lately, heavy trucks and commercial vehicles have come under the most intense focus of technological development because of the economic factors at play. Facing a critical and growing driver shortage problem and the consequently related issues of ballooning driver salaries for Class-8 trucks, manufacturers and large fleets are looking ever more intently at full automation of heavy trucks. However, before the age of robo-trucks is upon us, federal regulators are looking at finally implementing electronically limited speed limits on heavy trucks.
The idea of electronic speed governors on heavy trucks has been around for a long time but has faced industry resistance, or general indifference. An increased focus on roadway safety has brought the issue back to the forefront. The initial proposal would be to mandate a maximum speed limit of 60, 65, or 68 mph on trucks, buses, and multi-passenger vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds (Class 7 and 8). In addition to the claimed safety benefits, the U.S. Department of Transportation claims the move could save more than $1 billion in fuel costs and millions of gallons of fuel annually.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation