A governor is a device used to measure and regulate the speed of a machine, such as an engine. A classic example is the centrifugal governor, also known as the Watt or fly-ball governor, which uses weights mounted on spring-loaded arms to determine how fast a shaft is spinning, and then uses proportional control to regulate the shaft speed. Automobiles are a common application, and modern automobiles are equipped with such a mechanism for various reasons. Governor (device) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There are two types of automobile governors, one limiting the rotational speed of the engine, the other limiting the speed of the vehicle. In small, low power applications, governors are used to protect the engine from damage due to excessive rotational speed, or pushing the engine past its peak abilities. In larger, higher performance engines governors are used to limit the vehicle speed. Many performance cars are limited to a speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) to limit insurance costs and/or to reduce pollution. Also, many urban public buses have speed governors, which are typically set at 40 to 55 miles per hour.