Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hilarity in the instrument cluster

Apparently, there has been a lot of regulation of speedometers over the years, ranging from Clinton-era limits to about 85mph to modern speedometers going to 40-60 mph faster than the car can go.  So what gives?

Well, the standard claim is that it's a mix of regulation and sourcing, but I have to suggest that it's an abuse of basic principles of gauges.  You want a gauge that will be easy for the user to read in the range that is appropriate, no?

In layman's terms, that means that the speedometer should be easily legible from about 20mph to about 85mph to accomodate the range of legal speeds, and for "performance" cars, you probably want to have the range go well above that so that the driver has a way to avoid exceeding the performance limits of his vehicle, especially his tires.

If regulators can't figure this out, we'll thank them to get out of the way and stop getting people hurt and killed by their ignorance.

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