The news is riddled daily with reports of auto accidents that result from driving at excessive speeds. In Europe, the technology could soon be implemented that could help reduce those accidents. That technology is called “Intelligent Speed Assistance,” and it may soon be mandatory on all new cars in Europe.
A recent press release from the Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council says the following:
“Not a day goes by without a politician or a carmaker promising that autonomous cars will solve the road safety problem. But if that day comes, it will take decades. By 2030 perhaps there will already be a few million automated cars on the world’s roads, compared to more than a billion other vehicles, many of which will be those leaving factories this year. There is a grave risk that governments ignore the huge safety benefits that can be achieved by installing proven driver assistance technologies today.”
The technology itself works by using GPS data and cameras that can recognize speed limits to let the driver know when they’re exceeding the speed limit. If the driver attempts to go faster, the car simply won’t do it, unless the driver floors the accelerator as if to pass another car (and even then, it will only accelerate for short bursts).
Ford of Europe has already installed the technology in many cars, and they claim that the technology has more than just safety benefits. The United Kingdom has a lot of speed cameras, and the drivers aren’t always aware that they’re speeding until they get a ticket in the mail or they’re pulled over by the police. Intelligent Speed Limiters can help remove that stress from daily driving.
This kind of technology won’t likely be accepted with open arms in the United States, where we love cars that go really fast. However, it’s hard to argue with the potential benefits of the technology. According to the European Transport Safety Council:
“ISA is probably the single most effective new vehicle safety technology currently available in terms of its life-saving potential. A study for the European Commission found the other main positive impacts include: encouraging walking and cycling due to increased perceived safety of cars vis-à-vis vulnerable road users, a traffic calming effect, reductions in insurance costs, higher fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. Tackling excessive speed is fundamental to reducing the figure of 26,000 road deaths every year in Europe. With mass adoption and use, ISA is expected to reduce collisions by 30% and deaths by 20%.”