In recent news, the EU has provisionally planned that by 2022 all new cars; buses; vans and trucks will be fitted with a speed limiter device. The UK government has also pledged that even if it leaves the EU, it will follow suit. The road safety charity Brake called it a “landmark day” with the EU adding that this technology will avoid thousands of road deaths every year. The European Parliament is still several months off officially approving this technology however many charities have welcomed the initiative.
In 2022, this technology will become mandatory along with automated breaking and electronic data recording. Trucks and other larger vehicles will also be fitted with improved visibility technology to improve the safety of cyclists and other road users.
How will it work? – using the latest GPS and digital mapping technology it will track the vehicle, communicated the local speed limit to the cars dashboard. In addition, sign recognition will be able to assess the speed limit signs whilst you are driving along. The car then uses this information to make sure that it does not exceed the speed limit. However, the driver can override the system at any time by simply pushing the accelerator, but this override only works for a short period in situations such as overtaking another vehicle. The new technology will work in a similar way to cruise control, where you have a set speed but you can override at any time by pushing the accelerator or the brake. It is said that the driver will be able to turn the system off permanently for the whole journey if they wish, but it will re-set itself once the engine is switched on and off again.
If used correctly, the speed limiter technology will ensure that drivers never exceed the speed limit. Data on the cars speed will be gathered and fed into a database. In the event of an accident, Police and insurance companies will be able to access the data to find out if the driver was exceeding the legal limit.
More and more safety technology is being included in new cars as manufacturers seek better safety ratings. These safety features including emergency braking, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. The motor industry is becoming increasingly safety conscious and working towards a much safer drive, and insurance companies most certainly welcome these features.
While many people welcome this new technology, it does also come with its criticism. The new rules will see all data recorded in your car, almost like having a black box fitted. Some will see this as an invasion of privacy.
Moving to the future – this is a step in the right direction for vehicle technology and moving ever closer to autonomous driving. This is where supporters of the technology see road traffic incidents reducing dramatically. Full autonomous driving is still a long way off, with the technology still evolving. The EU Parliament will officially agree on speed limiters to be in all new cars from 2022, later on this year.