Tracking and surveillance tech is finding its use in yet another segment of public life in the West – road traffic.
Starting in 2022, cars in the UK will be fitted with speed limiters as a mandatory measure, and the most commonly used variety is the Intelligent Speed Assistant (ISA).
ISA works using GPS data alone, cameras for traffic sign recognition fitted to the front of the car, or a combination of the two. A speed limiter affects the engine power and in that way decreases speed.
Like the name suggests, speed limiters are designed to prevent drivers from exceeding certain speed limits, and prompt them via audio, visual, and haptic warnings until they “obey” and slow down.
The UK is essentially joining the EU in mandating this technology for all new cars, despite the fact the country has left the bloc. However, much of the legislation crafted in Brussels also remains in the UK’s legal system, including some new rules that are yet to be implemented.
The European Commission (EC) first came up with the idea to have speed limiters in all new cars back in 2019, and July 6 is the day when this plan will become reality, with the UK highly likely to follow.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is behind making speed limiters a compulsory feature.
The purpose of speed limiters is said to be to improve road safety, and drivers can either set their own limit or be subjected to automatic limits enforced by different zones.
Among car manufacturers that already include this technology in their vehicles are Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, and many others. The mandatory inclusion of speed limiters is set to be introduced gradually in terms of allowing drivers to have control over them.
For the moment, they are “opt-in,” since drivers can still turn them off. But, the plan is to remove this option completely. And, should speed limiters prove to be successful, the self-driving cars industry would get an important boost. Some might say that drivers will now be testing this technology for that industry, for free.