Controversial Speed Limiters To Become Mandatory On All Cars

A new controversial law is coming into force in Europe, which means that we will eventually see it in other parts of the world including Asia and beyond. And a lot of potential new car buyers will now be happy. In fact this new law may put people off buying a new car.

So what are we talking about here? Speed limiter technology. That’s right, all new cars sold in the European Union from July 2024 must have Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) speed limiter tech fitted by law. This means that carmakers will be forced to update cars launched before July 2022, the date when ISA was first introduced.

Introduced by EU lawmakers as a road safety measure, ISA is also part of the growing technology spending by new car buyers. It uses cameras that recognize speed limit signs and data from GPS and satellite navigation systems to determine the speed limit for a given road. If the car violates this limit, the driver is alerted to the violation by an audio signal or other warning— for example, a “haptic” vibration through the steering wheel or gas pedal. If the driver does not respond to the override system by braking – or even accelerating if conditions permit – the car will slowly reduce power and automatically decelerate to the limit. Drivers can currently switch off their ISA speed limiter system, but EU mandates require ISA to switch on automatically when the vehicle is started.

Although speeding or careless drivers are not yet automatically restricted by their cars, ISA systems could be a step towards fully automatic speed control. Talk about Big Brother. We recently reported on Ford’s speed-limiting project geofence in Cologne, which prevents drivers from speeding in certain geographic areas, and speed regulation is also an important part of expected advances in autonomous or self-driving technology.

If a driver doesn’t heed the warnings by braking or slowing their vehicle down- or indeed accelerating to overtake someone – then the car will slowly reduce speed and automatically slow to the lawful speed limit. Drivers are currently able to turn their ISA speed limiter systems off, but the EU mandate states ISA must automatically reset to ‘on’ every time the vehicle is started.

CARLIST THOUGHTS

Hmmm, I don’t know about you, but I can see a lot of potential new car buyers opting to go for a slightly older car that does not have the Big Brother speed nanny on board. I can understand the authorities wanting to mandate such a law, but I’d want to see a lot more data on lower speeds vs greater safety before I’m on board. Having driven in the UK, Germany and Italy, I can honestly say that literally millions of drivers will resist this overbearing law.

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