Motorists could soon find themselves unable to break the speed limit because of in-car technology designed to stop those of us with a heavy right foot.
The days of going over the speed limit – and Britain’s proliferation of speed cameras – could be numbered after a plan was approved for mandatory speed limiting technology to be introduced into all new vehicles by 2022.
The technology called Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) uses traffic sign recognition cameras plus GPS data to identify the speed limit on the road you’re traveling on – and automatically stops you from going over it.
While you’ll still be able to go over the limit by pushing hard on the accelerator, if you continue to break the limit for several seconds, the system will display a visual warning on the dashboard and sound an alarm incessantly until you drop back below the speed limit.
Experts claim that the limiters will reduce collision rates by 30% and could save up to 25,000 lives within 15 years. The limiter is part of proposals from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) – which have already been approved by MEPs – that detail safety technologies that the organisation wants to see in all vehicles in three years time.
These include data loggers that would automatically record information about the vehicle’s speed, how often safety systems have been activated, and logging “before, during and after” a collision. Lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking will also be made mandatory in all new cars by 2022.
This is a landmark day for road safety. We now urge the final negotiations to take place as soon as possible, so we can make this step-change for road safety a reality.”
– Josh Harris, Director of Campaigns, road safety charity Brake
In or out
Some who feel speed limiting is a step too far have been quick to point out that such EU regulations could not be applied to Britain after Brexit. But Britain leaving the EU is not likely to make any difference.
First, car makers are unlikely to produce specific car set-ups just for the UK market and second, the UK’s type approval centre, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), has already stated that Britain will mirror the EU’s rules once the country has ‘Brexited’.
Speed camera extinction
While the ETSC says drivers should be able to override the system in this first wave of speed limiting, experts believe that, as the technology becomes more accepted by drivers, the tech could become more stringent.
It means in the future, speed cameras could become a thing of the past as vehicles self-regulate their speeds automatically. There are currently 15 different types of speed cameras used across the country – from GATSOs and Truvelos to HADECS – and all could be culled.
Another perceived benefit could be the freeing up of Britain’s police from speed camera duties, instead enabling them to focus on other dangerous driving habits such as tailgating – or dealing with the massive spike in car theft across the country. Time will tell.
Speed Limiter © Ford