Improving Speeding Alert Accuracy with Smart Speeds

Learn How the Smart Speeds System Reduces False Alerts

Verizon Connect understands that, as a business, it is vital that you are alerted of dangerous driving behavior in your organization. Speeding event notifications are often the basis of serious business decisions that affect the financial health and wellbeing of your company, its employees, and society.

Our base map data contains speed limit data covering 99.4% of all non-residential US roads and over 20 million kilometers globally. We use this data to generate speeding alerts when vehicles travel above posted speed limits. However, like anything, this data is not always accurate. Receiving false speeding alerts for vehicles traveling below the speed limit creates ‘white noise’ that damages the value of these alerts, as well as wasting time and negatively affecting the morale of your drivers. These alerts also fail to indicate the actual safety of drivers, or the real-world conditions they may have to manage.

Accuracy of alerts is a priority for us, but driver safety is equally critical. As part of our commitment to accuracy and safety, we have created a new product called ‘Smart Speeds’.

Smart Speeds anonymously tracks the actual speeds of vehicles as they travel along roadways. Using this data, it calculates historical average and maximum vehicle speeds at these locations, and the conditions that existed when these speeds were recorded. Smart Speeds can then predict the accuracy of speed limits indicated in map data, suppressing speeding alerts if it determines these are likely false.

However, this tool is ‘smart’ not just in name. It predicts the accuracy of indicated speed limits along roads. This intelligent assessment relies not simply on vehicle speed, but on the observation¹ that vehicles traveling with the flow of traffic (between the 50th and 90th percentile of the speed of those around them) are the least likely to be involved in collisions.

The information fed into this tool is constantly updated, and used to filter out false ‘Speeding Against Speed Limit’ alerts. It also gives you, as a business, additional headroom to think about how to handle situations where your vehicles are traveling above the speed limit.

‘Smart Speeds Alerts’ complement traditional ‘Speeding Against Speed Limit’ alerts to give you a more rounded view of your drivers, and safety scorecards that more accurately reflect the real world.

The roads covered by the Smart Speeds system represent a large percentage of the miles traveled by the vehicles we track, and coverage continues to expand every day. For more information about setting up this feature, review our KPIs and InSight Alerts help pages. For a quick overview of the Smart Speeds system and how to configure it, see the Smart Speeds and Road Edits Overview video.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do Smart Speeds work during peak traffic?

If vehicles are travelling exceptionally slowly, such as during rush hour traffic, Smart Speeds does not evaluate vehicle speed.

Q: What are the minimum and maximum number of GPS speed records used when determining Smart Speeds?

A minimum of 20 vehicle GPS recordings (data points) for a location are required for Smart Speeds to be generated. When available, the 500 most recent probes recorded within the last year are used to determine current Smart Speeds at a given location.

Q: How far back does the system look?

Smart Speeds considers GPS speed records that are, at most, one year old.

Q: If a speed limit changes, how soon will Smart Speeds reflect this?

The 500 most recent data points for a given location are considered. This means that more frequently traveled roads will adjust quickly as more vehicles traverse them. Roads that are less frequently traveled will take longer to adjust.

Q: Do all roads have Smart Speeds? What is the coverage?

USA total coverage is 64%. This consists of the following road and highway types:

  • Super Highways - 81%
  • Major Highways - 82%
  • Secondary Highways - 88%
  • Arterial Roads - 86%
  • Streets - 59%

Q: What is the effect of Smart Speeds on on-ramps and off-ramps, when vehicles are accelerating or braking quickly?

There is naturally a wider spread of speeds on these roads. However, because Smart Speeds uses 'typical' speeds, drivers must still travel at unusually high speeds to trigger a speeding alert under these conditions.

Q: How do we handle directional speeds?

Smart Speeds can detect speed limits depending on the heading the vehicle is travelling.

Q: How do we handle GPS drift?

In addition to GPS location, the speed and heading of the vehicle are also taken into account. This allows the system to more accurately position the actual location of the vehicle, and to minimize the effect of GPS drift.

¹Solomon, D (1964) Accidents on Main Rural Highways related to speed, driver and vehicle. US Department of Commerce & Bureau of Public Roads, Washington DC.