The speedometer gauge is used to measure the traveling speed of the vehicle in both miles per hour (mph), as well as kilometers per hour. The development and accuracy of the speedometer is what led to the enforcement of legal speed limits. The concept of using a speedometer,is dated back to the early Romans, when they would estimate the distance traveled and average daily speed by counting the revolutions of a chariot. In 1901 the Oldsmobile line equipped the first mechanical speedometer which was made entirely of steel and other metals. In the 1980’s the electronic speedometer was made, which is still used today and is almost entirely made of plastics, usually being nylon or water-resistant polybutylene terephthalate polyester. The federal standards of the United States allows a 5 mph error for commercial vehicles at a speed of 50 mph.
The electronic speedometer is used in present to earlier model vehicles. This type of speedometer has a pulse generator installed in the transmission that reads the average rotational speed of the driveshaft, which then measures the vehicles speed. The rotation sensor that is mounted in the transmission has magnets that receive the pulse signals, and these signals are translated into an electronic read out,in which a computer converts the pulses to a speed which is displayed on the analog style needle or the digital display in the dashboard of the vehicle. The pulse information the speedometer receives, is also used to trigger the anti-lock braking system (ABS) or traction control. This speedometer is accurate to a high degree, assuming that all wheels have full traction. If the ABS were to lock up, and the vehicle was sliding, on ice and accelerating the speedometer would record a higher speed than the vehicle was actually traveling, and vice versa if braking.
The mechanical speedometer was an early form of the speedometer,and calculated the speed based, off a rotating cable that was attached to a set of gears in the automobile’s transmission. The cable was attached to a permanent magnet in the speedometers assembly, which spun at a rate proportional to the speed of the vehicle. As the magnet rotated,it manipulated an aluminum ring, pulling the ring in the same direction as the revolving magnetic field. The ring's movement is counteracted by a spiral spring, and attached to the aluminum ring, where the pointer, which indicates the speed of the vehicle,due to the balance between the two forces.
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