Metric Speed (Velocity)

These are the most common measurements:

  • Meters per second (m/s)
  • Kilometers per hour (km/h)



Speed in meters per second (m/s)

If something is traveling at 1 m/s it moves 1 meter every second.

It is a gentle walking speed.

One hour walking at 1 m/s moves you 3.6 km.

Speed in kilometers per hour (km/h)

If something is traveling at 1 km/h it moves 1 kilometer every hour.

1 km/h is like a very slow walking speed.

Kilometers per hour is often used for car speeds.

Example: Highway speed is around 100 km/h

One hour at this speed moves you 100 km.


Example: One minute at 60 km/h moves you 1 km.


You can convert from m/s to km/h:

  • 1 m/s = 3.6 km/h
  • 1 km/h = 0.2777... m/s

Example: What is 100 km/h in m/s?

A kilometer has 1,000 meters, and an hour has 3,600 seconds, so 100 kilometers per hour is:

  • 100 x 1,000 / 3,600 = 27.777... m/s

100 km/h = 27.78 m/s (to 2 decimal places)


Velocity is speed with a direction.

So if something is moving at 5 km/h that is a speed.

But when we say it is moving at 5 km/h westwards that is a velocity.

If something moves backwards and forwards very fast it has a high speed, but a low (or zero) velocity


100 km/h is about:

60 km/h is about:

1 meter per second is:

1 kilometer per hour is


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