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RTL Today – European Union: Automatic speed limiters will be mandatory in new cars from July

By Vaseline May27,2024

From a few weeks, all new cars sold within the European Union must be equipped with an automatic speed limiter. However, the functionality of this ‘intelligent’ device may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and could potentially be ‘incredibly annoying’, according to experts.

Traditionally, authorities rely on external measures such as speed cameras, speed bumps and chicanes to encourage motorists to reduce their speed. This allowed drivers to maintain full control and accelerate freely, despite speed being the leading cause of accidents.

However, from July, those buying new cars in the European Union will experience a shift as vehicles will be equipped with a kind of mandatory “co-driver”: the “Intelligent Speed ​​Assistance” (ISA) system.

This system continuously monitors the driver’s speed in relation to posted speed limits, using a combination of GPS technology and cameras that can recognize road signs. When exceeding the speed limit, the driver receives an audible signal or warning light, which warns him of the violation, regardless of whether he is driving in urban areas, on rural roads or on the highway.

‘It can be very annoying’

In addition to issuing warnings, the ISA system can take further action if the driver ignores the warnings. This may involve reducing the vehicle’s power or increasing the resistance of the accelerator pedal, effectively forcing the vehicle to slow down.

However, according to AutoPlus, drivers can override the system by pressing harder on the gas pedal, or simply deactivate it every time they start the car, similar to features like start-stop technology.

AutoPlus also notes that ISA implementation may vary by manufacturer. While some include features such as increased resistance on the accelerator pedal, others do not.

From July 2024, what was once an option on well-equipped models will become mandatory on all new European cars. However, constant monitoring by the system can increase stress for drivers. Traffic psychologist Gérard Tertoolen explains on 7sur7: “It only takes a short moment of inattention to slightly exceed the speed limit. If you are reminded of this very emphatically with an audio signal, it can be extremely annoying.”

Concerns are also emerging about the legal implications of the ISA system. Can motorists still rely on good faith in the event of an accident if the system had warned them of excessive speed?

The European Union emphasizes that the primary purpose of this system is to align with the ‘Vision Zero’ plan, which aims to eliminate road deaths in Europe by 2050. Estimates suggest that the introduction of ISA could potentially reduce road deaths within the EU by 20%. .

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